Page last updated at 18:38 GMT, Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Amanda Knox 'had no motive for Kercher murder'

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox's defence lawyers are summing up in court

Amanda Knox did not have any motive for killing British student Meredith Kercher, her lawyer has told a court.

Luciano Ghirga fought back tears as he attacked the case brought against Miss Knox, during his summing-up speech.

Miss Knox, 22, and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, deny charges of murder and sexual violence involving Miss Kercher, 21, of Coulsdon, Surrey.

But lead prosecutor Giuliano Mignini said Miss Knox was a "compressed spring" that was unleashed that night.

He said Miss Knox lashed out at Miss Kercher for complaining about her promiscuous behaviour.

The jury is expected to begin its deliberations on Friday.

Mr Ghirga denounced allegations made about the character of Miss Knox.

He said: "The deductions made about Amanda outside of the courtroom, I don't accept them."

I know she's innocent so she'll be home any time now
Deanna Knox

He also pointed to inconsistencies in the prosecution's case and said the alleged motive behind the killing had changed.

"First it was (Miss Kercher's) refusal to participate in a sex orgy, then it was an economic motive."

Mr Ghirga urged the court in Perugia to reach the right verdict in the trial.

In his closing remarks, Mr Mignini said Miss Knox "harboured hatred" for Miss Kercher for saying she was unclean and promiscuous.

He recalled previous evidence, including that of Miss Kercher's father and friends, that she had repeatedly lamented Knox's "inappropriate" behaviour.

"Amanda was a compressed spring that was unleashed that night," he said.

'Lack of evidence'

Speaking outside the court, Amanda Knox's sister, Deanna Knox, said she was sure the American would go home a free woman.

"I'm really nervous but I know things will go well so I'm just waiting and watching right now," she said.

"I know she's innocent so she'll be home any time now."

Earlier, another of Miss Knox's defence lawyers, Carlo Dalla Vedova, had suggested DNA traces said to link Miss Knox to the scene of the stabbing in Perugia in November 2007 were too insignificant to be relied on.

Rudy Guede, 22, from Ivory Coast, was jailed for 30 years after he was convicted in a separate trial but has launched an appeal.

Miss Kercher was found dead in her bedroom after what prosecutors maintain was a drug-induced sex game.

The Leeds University student's throat had been cut.

But Mr Dalla Vedova contended no evidence had been presented to show Miss Knox, Mr Sollecito and Guede had planned an attack on Miss Kercher.

In her defence, Miss Knox, from Seattle, testified that she spent the night of the murder with Mr Sollecito at his flat, where she said they smoked marijuana, had sex and watched a movie.


Amanda Knox's sister, Deanna: "I know things will go well... I know she's innocent"

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