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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Amanda Knox Trial: Witness Gives Conflicting Testimony

Amanda Knox Trial: Witness Gives Conflicting Testimony

PERUGIA, Italy — A key prosecution witness testifying in Amanda Knox's appeals trial gave conflicting reports Saturday about whether he saw the American near the crime scene the night her British roommate was murdered.
The contradicting testimony and confused dates offered by Antonio Curatolo, a self-described drug addict and homeless man now in prison for an unrelated conviction, cast doubts on his credibility. The defense called him flat-out unreliable, while the prosecution maintained that, despite some lack of precision, the witness was lucid and clear in what he remembered.
Knox, 23, has been convicted of the sexual assault and murder of Meredith Kercher in the house they shared as exchange students in Perugia and is serving a 26-year-prison sentence.
In the first trial, Curatolo placed Knox and her co-defendant and ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, in a square near the house on the night of the murder. He said the two were chatting and added that he remembered seeing buses in the square. The testimony was important because it directly contradicted Knox and Sollecito's claim that they were at Sollecito's house the night of the murder.
On Saturday he repeated that he saw the two "talking excitedly" in the square and said he thought it was Halloween night – which would be the night before the Nov. 1, 2007 murder. He was unclear when Halloween night actually is, saying he thought it was Nov. 1 or 2. Despite the date confusion, he repeatedly said that he saw young people dressed up in costumes.
But, at another point, he also said he clearly remembers seeing police at the house the morning after he saw Knox and Sollecito in the square. Police went to the crime scene on Nov. 2, when Kercher's body was found, stabbed to death and lying in a pool of blood.
"Police and Carabinieri were coming and going, and I also saw the 'extraterrestrials' – that would be the men in white overalls," Curatolo told the court with a smile, referring to forensic experts gathering evidence.
Twice he was asked by Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini whether he was certain that police were at the house the morning after he saw Knox and Sollecito in the square. Curatolo answered: "I'm as certain as I am that I'm sitting here."
He said that in 2007 he was living outdoors in the square in question.

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