Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Saturday, 20 June 2009 18:48 UK

Dispute over Kercher murder knife

Amanda Knox
Prosecutors say Ms Knox's DNA is on a knife that matches the stab wounds

The stab wound in the neck of a British student killed in Italy was from a shorter knife than the one thought to be the murder weapon, a court was told.

A coroner said that Meredith Kercher was killed with a 3ins to 3.5ins knife, a lawyer for the Kercher family said.

But prosecutors say a 6.5ins knife found at the home of one of the accused matched Ms Kercher's wounds.

Amanda Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito deny killing Ms Kercher, 21, in Perugia in 2007.

Coroner Francesco Introna was called to give evidence for the defence, according to a lawyer representing the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca.

Prosecutors say a 6.5ins knife found at Mr Sollecito's house matched the wounds and could be the murder weapon.

DNA 'match'

They also say the knife had Ms Kercher's DNA on the blade and that of Ms Knox's on the handle.

As well as questioning the length of the knife, Mr Introna also said that no more than a single attacker could have assaulted Ms Kercher, according to Mr Maresca.

However, when cross-examined by prosecutors, Mr Introna conceded he had never been to the house where Ms Kercher was killed and used forensic data to work out the size of the bedroom.

Mr Maresca said that when the court went to inspect the scene of the crime in April, six or seven people could fit into the room.

The body of Ms Kercher, from Coulsdon in Surrey, was discovered in the bedroom of the house she shared with Ms Knox in the Umbrian university city of Perugia.

A third person, Rudy Guede, has been jailed for 30 years for the killing.



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