Video: Knox verdict could come this week

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    >>> let's begin with the murder trial of american college student amanda knox . a verdict could come this week. now her parents are the focus of a separate investigation by italian police . nbc's keith miller is in perugia, italy with details. keith, good morning.

    >> reporter: good morning, meredith. well in fact this case is running longer than many network tv programs. just over two years. and this week the final week promises to resemble a tv courtroom drama. the prison guard around amanda knox has been tightened up for the closing arguments. in a strange twist to this case, knox 's parents, who are attending the closing sessions, may be back in court as defendants. prosecutors indicted kurt knox and his former wife for defamation regarding comments they made about police conduct more than a year ago to a british newspaper.

    >> frankly, i believe it is nothing more than just a ploy utilized by the prosecution to show the weakness of their case and wanting to try to divert any of the media to focus on that.

    >> reporter: in court today, lawyers for knox 's co-defendant and former boyfriend called their client a victim. the prosecution is seeking to put knox and her former boyfriend in prison for life for the murder of knox 's roommate, meredith kercher , an exchange student from england. during closing arguments for three civil cases against knox , lawyers attacked her character. amanda is all about hot sex , declared one lawyer, saying she looks like an angel but acts like the devil. knox , 22 years old, buried her face in her hands.

    >> it was really screaming and shouting at her at what a terrible person she was and that was just horrible for her to hear.

    >> reporter: defense lawyers called it a sexist rant. what wasn't mentioned in closing arguments was evidence connecting knox to the crime.

    >> there seems to be too much "analyze this" going on and too much focusing on evidence. you know what they say sometimes, when the package is no good, fluff up the wrapping.

    >> reporter: knox 's parents will remain in court until a verdict is reached. both are optimistic their daughter will be home for christmas .

    >> it would be the best present ever.

    >> reporter: but knox 's mother knows there are no guarantees in this unpredictable trial. in fact, the judge and the six-member jury will go in- into sequestration.

    >> anne bremner is a lawyer in seattle, washington who advises the knox family and founded the group "friends of amanda ." good morning. anne, why do you believe italian authorities are now investigating amanda knox 's parents?

    >> well, i think it is a transparent attempt to make them be silent. the timing, the statement was supposedly made in '08, right at the end of the trial saying you're going to be indicted for speaking out against the prosecution is suspect at best but it also dilutes some of what's being said by the defense about this prosecution, which is in many people's minds wrongful.

    >> they have been very vocal in terms of criticizing the prosecution. do you think that has hurt their daughter's case?

    >> you know, in the u.s., of course, we have the first amendment and that's what keeps our system fair, people speaking out and media scrutinizing trials and the public doing so. there's been some arguments in italy that this has hurt the case but i don't think so, because facts are stubborn things and there are no facts in this case to support a prosecution, let alone a conviction, of amanda knox .

    >> both parents are in italy for the end of the trial. if they are charged by authorities there, would they have trouble re-entering the united states ?

    >> you know, that's a danger. here's an even bigger danger. if they do come back and her daughter's convicted, would they be disallowed visitation and entering into italy .

    >> at one point you had thought about coming here for the end of the trial -- going to italy , i'm sorry, for the end of the trial and decided against it. why is that?

    >> because i guess i'm a lawyer and can't practice law if i'm in italy or i'm in jail or indicted for a felony. you know, the threat is real. we can speak out here. we take that for granted that we can do that in this system, including lawyers and parties. but look what just happened in italy .

    >> but do you believe you yourself would be charged if you went over there for something?

    >> well, i can't take the chance. i've said the same thing that the parents have said, they've been investigated for and maybe charged which is that amanda was abused during the interrogation. they said that's defamation, criminal libel in italy .

    >> i know that you and amanda 's family are hoping for the best outcome that she will be found not guilty. but how have you prepared yourself for the possibility that in fact she will be found guilty?

    >> witnesses can and do lie. evidence never does. the evidence never lies. we're hopeful, i think cautiously optimistic that the jury will see that there is no evidence in this case. the knife doesn't match. there's no dna that matches on that. she didn't confess. there's no forensic evidence . and this ritualistic slaying theory is a pure fantasy. i guess we could also say cautiously pessimistic. if there is a conviction given the horrible media in this case and innuendo, "foxy knoxy," "she devil," " angel face from seattle," there is an appeal. justice should prevail with an acquittal in this

updated 11/30/2009 10:59:38 AM ET 2009-11-30T15:59:38

A lawyer for the former boyfriend of Amanda Knox painted the U.S. coed as naive, spontaneous and imprudent as she argued Monday that both Knox and her lover were innocent in the slaying of the American's British roommate.

Giulia Bongiorno, who is defending Knox's ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito of Italy, compared Knox to the film character Amelie in the 2001 French movie of the same title. That is the film Knox and Sollecito claim they were watching on video the night that Meredith Kercher was fatally stabbed in the throat in 2007, Bongiorno reminded the court in final arguments.

"Amanda, just like Amelie, has a lot of energy. She is naive ... (and) candid" like the French film character, Bongiorno told the court. "The approach of Amanda toward life is exactly the same of Amelie, spontaneous, immediate and imprudent."

Bongiorno, who won fame as a criminal lawyer when she successfully defended former Italian Premier Giulio Andreotti on charges of Mafia association a few years ago, argued that Sollecito, an Italian, wound up being wrongly accused of Kercher's murder because of a bloody footprint in the bedroom where the woman was slain.

Sollecito, 25, and Knox, 22, are accused of murder and sexual violence in the death of Kercher, who was found in her bedroom in the rented house she shared with the American from Seattle. Both defendants insist they are innocent.

Kercher was a 21-year-old university exchange student from Leeds. All three were students in Perugia, a university town in Umbria, in central Italy.

A verdict in the long-running trial is expected toward the end of this week. Prosecutors have argued for conviction and life imprisonment — Italy's stiffest penalty — for Knox and Sollecito.

"Raffaele was about to graduate, and was cultivating his dreams, but a footprint took those dreams away from him," Bongiorno said. She contended that analyses indicate that the print was made by a shoe of a different kind and size than the ones Sollecito wore.

Prosecutors have argued that the Kercher was the victim of a drug-fueled sex game involving Knox, Sollecito and a third defendant, Rudy Hermann Guede of the Ivory Coast.

Guede, 22, was convicted of the same charges in a fast-track trial last year and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He is appealing his conviction.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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