The murder trial of University of Washington student Amanda Knox is set to begin tomorrow in Italy in the city of Perugia, where she went to study.

The 21-year-old from Seattle and her Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are accused of stabbing her housemate, Meredith Kercher, in November 2007 in a sexual assault. Both say they are not guilty. If convicted they could face life in prison.

Another man, Rudy Hermann Guede of Ivory Coast, was convicted in October in a fast-track trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors have indicated the court intends to hold a maximum of two sessions of the trial each week. Lawyers say it could last a year.

Kercher's family is seeking to have the proceedings closed to the public and the media to prevent sensitive evidence from being broadcast.

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