Published November 23, 2010
PERUGIA, Italy – Amanda Knox briefly returned to court in Italy on Wednesday for the start of her appeals trial, about a year after the American student was convicted of killing her British roommate in a case that drew global attention.
The hearing, devoted mainly to procedural matters, lasted 15 minutes and the case was adjourned until Dec. 11.
Knox was escorted by a policewoman into the same Perugia courtroom where the first trial was held. The 23-year-old was convicted in December of sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith Kercher, and sentenced to 26 years in prison.
Also attending was Raffaele Sollecito, an Italian who was Knox's boyfriend at the time of the murder. He has been convicted of the same charges and sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Both have always maintained their innocence.
Luciano Ghirga, a lawyer for Knox, said on the eve of the appeal that the American's confidence had been low in recent days, but was now eager for the appeals trial to get going, so that "at least she knows what lies ahead."
The defense is seeking a full review of the case, hoping to introduce new witnesses and ultimately win an acquittal. The prosecutors have also appealed, as they can Italy, as the ruling fell short of their demand for life in prison.
"We want an acquittal, the prosecution demands a life sentence: It's an intense, harsh and violent legal clash," Ghirga told The Associated Press in an interview Tuesday evening.
Knox and Sollecito have been behind bars in Perugia since Nov. 6, 2007, four days after Kercher's body was found in a pool of blood, her throat slit, in the apartment Knox and Kercher shared as exchange students in Perugia. Forensic experts said Kercher was killed when a sex game turned violent.