Page last updated at 00:43 GMT, Saturday, 12 December 2009

Amanda Knox 'positive' ahead of Kercher murder appeal

Curt Knox claimed his daughter's human rights were violated during questioning

Amanda Knox is back to her "positive self" as she awaits the appeal against her conviction for killing UK student Meredith Kercher, her father has said.

In a TV interview recorded after the Italian court's verdict, Curt Knox raised questions over DNA evidence.

He told BBC Two's Newsnight programme the case had been emotionally and financially "devastating".

US student Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her former boyfriend, were convicted of murdering her roommate in Perugia.

Miss Kercher, 21, a Leeds University student from Surrey, was found with her throat slit in November 2007.

Knox, 22, was sentenced to 26 years and Italian Sollecito, 25, was given 25 years on 4 December.

Human rights

Speaking from Seattle, Washington, Mr Knox said his daughter was sombre when he visited her in jail immediately after the verdict but a few days later had "really had popped back to her positive self".

He said part of her appeal would question the prosecution's reliance on a DNA sample said to belong to Knox that was found on a knife at Sollecito's home.

"When you take a look at the actual evidence produced in the court, the defence broke that down," he said.

Mr Knox added: "Within the room in which Meredith lost her life there was not one hair follicle, any blood, any DNA of Amanda in any portion."

There are specific British papers that we have extreme concerns about because of misreporting
Curt Knox

He said the defence was waiting for a "key piece of information" which would allow them formally to submit an appeal.

"It's the actual written motivation that the judge and jury used to come to the conclusion that they did in this particular trial," he said.

Mr Knox said the police interviews with his daughter were not recorded as they should have been under Italian law.

He claimed his daughter's "human rights were violated" during 14 hours of questioning.

Knox was was asked to "visualise" what might have happened and was "prompted", he said.

He was also critical of the reporting of the trial by the Italian and British media, saying his daughter "experienced literally a character assassination".

Amanda Knox
Knox was sentenced to 26 years imprisonment

He added: "There are specific British papers that we have extreme concerns about because of misreporting, false information, putting pictures out there that are so blatantly wrong that it is a grave concern of ours and we are pursuing certain things."

Mr Knox expressed his sympathy to the Kerchers.

"I would have to offer this in that the Kercher family experienced something that no parent would ever want to experience in the telephone call that they received.

"They don't have the opportunity to have their daughter back, where we do, so if there's anything to be thankful for, that would be it."

The interview came after Sollecito is reported to have described the thought of Knox killing someone in a moment of anger as "absurd and unrealistic".

He was speaking through his lawyer to Italian newspaper Il Messaggero.

Small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede, 22, had also been jailed for 30 years for his part in the murder after a separate trial.

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