Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Prosecution Rests in the Knox Case

The prosecution case against Amanda Knox rested today. If you don't know who Amanda Knox is then your life is probably a good bit richer and more interesting than mine. Here's a useful CNN summary:
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Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- [According to the Prosecution] The November 2, 2007, death of British student Meredith Kercher occurred during a twisted sex game in which Amanda Knox taunted Kercher, and two men -- boyfriend Rafael Sollecito and acquaintance Rudy Guede -- sexually assaulted her. Prosecutor Guilano Mignini said during his seven-hour closing that Knox hated and resented Kercher and had decided the time had come to exact revenge. Knox, 22, and Sollecito, 26, are on trial for sexual assault and murder. Police found Kercher's bloody body under a duvet on the floor of the apartment she shared with Knox. Both deny the charges. Mignini said Kercher died about 11:30 p.m. after she and Knox had quarreled -- either over money or Guede's presence at the house. The prosecutor said the men pinned Kercher down by her arms while Knox played with the knife, prodding at her throat and saying, "Ah, you were pretending to be such a little saint. ... Now we are going to show you."
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The defense argument is that Knox spent the night sleeping at her boyfriend's house smoking marijuana and thus has no clear recollection of the evening's events. The drugs apparently also explained her bizarre 'confession' to the local cops and her odd behaviour in the days following the murder. For good measure the defense also says that Knox's DNA appeared on the murder weapon because of evidence mishandling by the Italian forensics unit.
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Despite the fact that this has become a cause celebre and, ridiculously, an early candidate for Trial of the Century, to me this is a fairly simple case, complicated only by the fact that Amanda Knox is American and very good looking. Patricia Highsmith wrote about uncannily similar events to the Knox affair in her novel The Talented Mr Ripley over three decades ago. Ms Knox is not as talented as Tom Ripley, not by a long chalk I'm happy to say.