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Page last updated at 20:17 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

DNA on bra 'does not prove guilt'

Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher was found dead in the Italian city of Perugia last year

DNA on Meredith Kercher's brassiere does not prove suspect Raffaele Sollecito is guilty of her murder, Mr Sollecito's lawyer has said.

Outside court, Giulia Bongiorno said the bra had traces of DNA compatible with the other two suspects - pointing to contamination rather than evidence.

Mr Sollecito, 24, Amanda Knox, 21, and Rudy Hermann Guede, 21, deny murder.

British student Miss Kercher, 21, of south London, was found with her throat cut at her home in Italy last year.

Ms Bongiorno said: "There are multiple traces of DNA on the bra. This is further proof of contamination."

Judge Paolo Micheli will decide on Tuesday whether Mr Sollecito and Miss Knox should go on trial for murder.

The judge will also decide whether to convict or acquit Mr Guede, who has opted for a fast-track legal process.

The three suspects have been back in court in the Umbrian city of Perugia ahead of the judgment.

Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini told the court Miss Knox and her former lover Mr Sollecito should remain behind bars until any trial takes place.

Raffaele Sollecito
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyers say DNA traces may have been contaminated

Mr Mignini advised against placing them under house arrest before a trial, suggesting they may flee.

But Miss Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova has asked for her to be placed under house arrest at a community farm for recovering drug addicts run by a Catholic charity, if a trial is ordered.

Leeds University exchange student Miss Kercher was found by police in the flat she shared with Miss Knox on 2 November last year.

Prosecutors allege Miss Knox stabbed Kercher in the throat, while Mr Sollecito held her down and Mr Guede tried to sexually assault her.

All three deny the claims.

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