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Prosecutors want 30-year prison for Amanda Knox

Italian prosecutors today asked for a 30-year prison sentence for former US student Amanda Knox at a retrial where she is being judged in absentia for the murder of her housemate, Italian media reported.

world Updated: Nov 26, 2013 20:19 IST
Amanda Knox

Italian prosecutors on Tuesday asked for a 30-year prison sentence for former US student Amanda Knox at a retrial where she is being judged in absentia for the murder of her housemate, Italian media reported.

Prosecutors at the trial also requested that her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito be given 26 years, saying the punishment should be harsher for Knox because she initially accused someone else of the crime.

Knox and Sollecito have already served four years in prison for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, who was found half-naked in a pool of blood on November 2, 2006 in the house she shared with Knox.

The two, who have always protested their innocence, were acquitted on appeal in 2011 but the supreme court earlier this year overturned that ruling, sending the case back to the appeals stage at a court in Florence.

The retrial is expected to reach a verdict in January.

Knox is now back in the United States and experts say it is highly unlikely that she could ever be extradited even if she is convicted and even if that conviction is upheld in another appeal to the supreme court.

Rudy Guede, a local petty thief and drug dealer, has been convicted separately and is serving a 16-year sentence for the gruesome murder which shocked the university town of Perugia and has divided opinions.

Prosecutor Alessandro Crini told the court on Tuesday that the DNA evidence, which is highly disputed in the case, showed that Sollecito and Knox had stabbed Kercher while Guede sexually assaulted her.

Crini said he believed Knox had used a large kitchen knife that was later found by investigators in Sollecito's home, pointing to DNA traces of Kercher on the blade and of Knox on the handle.

He said the sexual element became "marginal" as the drug-fuelled violence increased. "They were trying to get rid of someone who had to be shut up," Crini said.