With the date for final arguments set, is the Amanda Knox trial finally coming to an end?
The ongoing saga of the American girl charged with murder in Italy may finally be closing, and prosecutors think that Knox may be aquitted after the trial resumes on Sept. 23.
In 2009, Knox was convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher, who was found stabbed to death in the house she shared with Knox in the university town of Perugia. At the time, the court ruled that Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito slit Kercher's throat in a possible drug-fuelled sexual assault. Knox and Sollecito were sentenced to 25- and 26-year prison sentences for the crime, respectively.
But when an appeals trial opened this spring, new evidence cast doubt over Knox's guilt.
In June, independent, court-appointed experts told the Italian court that the DNA evidence was inconclusive, and could have been tainted during the investigation. DNA found found on a bloody knife and on a bra clasp during the police investigation were the key pieces of evidence used in the initial conviction.
The international procedures for inspection, protocol and collection of evidence were not followed, the experts testified.
One cannot exclude that the results obtained could have derived from phenomena of environmental contamination and/or contamination, which could have taken place in any of the phases of the evidence gathering and/or manipulation.
On Wednesday, Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellman rejected the prosecutions request to re-test the DNA, as well as the introduction of a new witness; both moves will likely be beneficial for Knox's camp.
Once the trial begins again later this month, the court could reach a verdict as soon as Sept. 29, according to the judge's timetable.
Countering the DNA confusion, the appeals trial also heard testimony from Rudy Guede, who was also implicated in the murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2008.
Guede, who was born in the Ivory Coast in Africa and moved to Perugia when he was a boy, said in court that Knox and Sollecito were in the house on the night of the murder. A lawyer for the prosecution then read a letter written by Guede in 2010 to a newspaper that stated that Knox and Sollecito committed the horrible homicide of a splendid young girl, Meredith Kercher.
I've always believed this. I've always said who was there in that house on that cursed night, Guede told the Italian court.
A defiant Knox told the courtroom in June that the only time that Rudy Guede, Raffaele and I were in the same space has been in court. I'm shocked and anguished. He knows we weren't there and have nothing to do with it.
Police found Guede's DNA on Kercher's body and on her clothing. They also found shoe and hand prints in Kercher's blood that they attributed to Guede.
Related: Click here to see photos from the Amanda Knox trial.