Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 17:07 UK

Kercher accused request rejected

Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher was found dead two months into her studies in Italy

The judge in the trial of two people accused of killing UK student Meredith Kercher in Italy has rejected defence lawyers' calls to drop indictments.

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

As the trial reopened after a two-month break, their lawyers challenged DNA findings. But judge Giancarlo Massei ruled that proceedings should go on.

Ms Kercher, from London, was found in a Perugia house she and Ms Knox shared.

The Leeds University student's body was discovered with her throat cut.

A third person, Rudy Guede, has been jailed for 30 years for the killing. He has denied wrongdoing and is appealing against his conviction.

Ms Knox claims she spent that night at Mr Sollecito's apartment where they ate dinner, smoked a marijuana joint, had sex and went to bed.

Prosecutors say Ms Kercher, who was from Coulsdon, in south London, was killed after refusing to take part in a drug-fuelled sex game.

Curt Knox: "She is hoping that this really is the home stretch of the trial"

Lawyers for the accused said some documents supporting the attribution of DNA samples - that prosecutors claim link the defendants to the case - had not been made available to the defence quickly enough.

They asked for the indictment to be thrown out, saying their defence strategy was hindered by the lack of access to the documentation.

But the presiding judge said defence consultants were present when the DNA tests were carried out by forensic experts.

He added that relevant documents had been made available a month-and-a-half ago, suggesting that defence teams had enough time to review the DNA findings.

Prosecutors said Ms Knox's DNA was found on the handle of a knife that might have been used in the killing, while Ms Kercher's DNA was found on the blade.

The knife was discovered at Mr Sollecito's apartment.



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