Amanda Knox’s appeal of her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher is in its final stages as closing arguments from prosecutors began Friday.
Knox, 24, was sentenced to 26 years in prison along with her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of her housemate in a highly-publicized trial. She has always maintained her innocence.
Knox’s appeal is based on the independent court-appointed forensic experts’ conclusion in June that the DNA used in the case against Knox was unreliable and possibly contaminated.
The specialists reported that DNA on the knife blade and bra clasp of Kercher could have been contaminated.
However, the experts also agreed, "With the conclusions reached by technical consultants on the genetic profile on the knife's handle, ... that it belongs to Amanda Knox."
The Italian News Agency ANSA reported that results submitted to the appeals court in Perugia, Italy, give credibility to the Knox-Sollecito defense lawyers, who previously argued that the DNA evidence had been contaminated by the police.
The forensic specialists wrote in their report, "One could not exclude the chances of the DNA found in the knife blade coming from environmental contamination and/or contamination caused during the stages of gathering evidence and/or manipulation," according to ABC News.
The results submitted to the appeals court may be key in the case to overturn Knox's and Sollecito’s conviction.
Kercher’s body was found with her throat slashed on Nov. 2, 2007, in Perugia, Italy, in the house she shared with Knox. Prosecutors in the trial said Kercher had been sexually assaulted by Knox, Sollecito and a third person, Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence for his role in the murder.