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The Meredith Kercher trial – claims of contamination of forensic DNA sample

An independent review request by the defense on the grounds of contamination of DNA forensic samples in the Meredith Kercher murder has been rejected.

An independent review request by the defense on the grounds of contamination of DNA forensic samples in the Meredith Kercher murder has been rejected.

Meredith Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found brutally murdered with her throat slashed in the flat she shared with Amanda Knox whilst on a student exchange program in the Italian town of perugia. Knox and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, became prime suspects in the case along with Rudy Hermann Guede, who was the first to be sentenced on October 28th 2008 since his were the only fingerprints to be found on the corpse.

DNA forensic tests carried out on a bloody knife found on the crime scene conclude that the blood on the blade belongs to Meredith, and DNA found on the knife handle belonged to Amanda Knox. Blood DNA tests were also carried out on stains found on the bidet and sink in the suspect’s bathroom which were found to contain the DNA of both Knox and Meredith.

Allusions to a sordid sex game between Meredith and her assailants have been put forward by the prosecution on the basis of some manga comics found in the flat which told the story of murdering a female vampire. The parallels located by the prosecution between the comics found in Sollecito’s flat and the actual murder have been rebuffed by the prosecution.

The trial came to a minor halt as the defense pointed out inconsistencies that arose after the knife had been examined by forensic experts. The gash in Meredith’s throat was made by a knife of a considerably smaller size that the one found in the apartment. Thus, the knife found is unlikely to have been used as the murder weapon; the murder weapon has still not been found. Experts working on the case further criticized its conclusions saying that the there was a clear case of contamination and thus, the evidence presented could not be held sustainable in a court of law.

The defense lawyer highlighted footage of the crime scene showing how single-use forensic glove had in fact, been re-used more than once.

Despite this, judge Giancarlo Massei, has rejected the request for an independent review and the trial is set to proceed as normal.

Knox and Sollecito will be in fact found guilty after having been in custody for nearly two years; both deny ever having done any wrong. Verdicts for the accused will unlikely be heard before January 2010. Rudy Hermann Guede was found guilty of premeditated murder and sexual assault and was sentenced to 30 years in prison; he is appealing the case and will have his hearing in November.



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