Defense team in the Meredith Kercher case, appearing for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, have put forward criticisms regarding the way in which DNA samples were gathered by forensic experts.
Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Surrey, was found murdered in her flat in Perugia, Italy. Kercher was on an Erasmus program in the university town for just two months when she was murdered. Her murder story was shrouded in talks of a repulsive sex game played by her killers, in which Meredith, their victim, was subjected to prolonged sexual violence.
Rudy Hermann Geude was the first to be convicted and sentenced to thirty years in prison. His fingerprints were found on Meredith’s body and DNA forensic tests showed that he had had intercourse with the victim prior to her murder. After Meredith’s murder, Guede fled to Germany and was tracked down and held by authorities there.
Evidence in the case was a knife found in the flat which contained traces of Knox’s DNA profile on the handle and the victim’s DNA found in the blood on the blade. This was not however, the weapon used to assassinate Meredith; it still remains undiscovered.
Meredith was made to endure sexual torture for an extensive period of time. The prosecution claimed that the way in which Meredith was murdered followed the same pattern as stories found in some manga comics in Sollecito’s flat. The defense has dismissed these claims as ludicrous and unfounded.
Brought forward by the defense was a criticism of the handling of forensic DNA evidence in the case. They argued that collection of DNA did not abide by set procedures, noting how the use of forensic gloves which should not be used more than once were in fact used a number of times thus, contaminating DNA samples. Moreover, they pointed out, using footage of the crime scene, how a blood-stained bra clasp was only located after a second search of the crime scene, meaning that the first and most important search was not as meticulous as it should have been.
The Judge in charge of the case found the evidence given to be incontrovertible and despite Knox’s involvement in the murder of Kercher, she still denies having had anything to do with it. The Judge’s verdict will not be heard any time before the New Year, but the outcome is clear, as Knox joked and laughed with the guards in court, it became clear that the two would be sentenced.