ROME – A judge has given the go-ahead to examine the computers of an American and an Italian suspect in the November slaying of a British student in the central Italian city of Perugia, a defense lawyer said Wednesday.
The judge has also said experts could examine the computer of the victim, Meredith Kercher, said attorney Marco Brusco. A hearing to appoint the experts will be held on Jan. 21, he said.
Brusco's client, Raffaele Sollecito, has been jailed for over two months along with his American girlfriend at the time, Amanda Marie Knox of Seattle, in connection with the slaying of the 21-year-old Kercher.
Kercher, a student from Leeds University in England and enrolled for a year of study in Perugia, was found dead Nov. 2 in the apartment she shared with Knox. She died from a stab wound to the neck, and prosecutors said she was killed resisting a sexual assault.
Knox, 20, and Sollecito, 23, were jailed Nov. 6 and a judge has ruled that both can be held for as long as a year while the investigation continues. They have not been formally charged, but the judge said there was sufficient evidence to keep them in custody.
Sollecito has said he was at his own Perugia apartment the night of the slaying, working at his computer, but does not remember if Knox spent the whole night with him. Both suspects have given confused recollections and conflicting statements and said they had smoked hashish that night, according to court documents.
Sollecito's defense has said that analyses on his computer show he had been logged on. Prosecutors say police have proven that the computer was connected to the Internet but without anybody accessing it overnight.
Knox, meanwhile, kept an online diary of her life in Italy on her MySpace.com social networking site.
Besides Knox and Sollecito, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede is also being held as a suspect in Perugia following his extradition from Germany. Another suspect, Congolese pub owner Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, was released from jail but has not been formally cleared.
All suspects deny wrongdoing.