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CCTV could derail Amanda Knox defence

An Italian TV program has aired CCTV it believes shows Amanda Knox in a location which directly contradicts her alibi surrounding the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007.

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Closed-circuit television footage has been disclosed that casts doubt on the alibi Amanda Knox has used to protest her innocence over the murder of Meredith Kercher. Security camera footage time-stamped 20:53, November 1, 2007 - the night of the murder - shows a woman resembling Knox walking through a car park in Perugia, near the house she shared with British student Ms Kercher.

The woman’s jeans and long coat are similar to those Knox was pictured in during the days following the murder and it has been suggested by the Italian TV program that aired the footage that the two walk in a similar fashion.

The footage was shown on investigative program Quarto Grado, which explained that Ms Kercher appears on the video two minutes before the woman resembling Knox does, walking towards her house, according to The Times.

Amanda Knox in 2008

Amanda Knox in 2008

Knox said in court that she had spent the night of the murder with her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, reading a Harry Potter book and having sex.

However, the footage - if it was proven to be Knox - would raise serious questions over the validity of that alibi, which remains central to her defence.

It is unclear why the footage has never been used in court and why it has only emerged now. The television program did not disclose how it had obtained the footage.  

Murdered British student Meredith Kercher.

Murdered British student Meredith Kercher. Photo: Getty Images

By raising questions over her alibi, the footage could be problematic for Knox.

However, the footage would also raise questions over the prosecution - firstly over why it has only emerged now, and secondly as to why Knox was leaving the house she and Ms Kercher shared before the crime was recorded as taking place.

Knox remains convicted of the murder and a third trial - which in Italian law will finally decide on her guilt or innocence - is under way. However, she has refused to return from America, despite Ms Kercher's family calling for her to do so.

Latza Nadeau, the author of the book Angel Face, which was inspired by the case, said the footage is not helpful to the prosecution or the defence. She said: "If the prosecution shows someone like Amanda Knox walking away from the crime scene, it's not helpful. For the defence, if there is a video of her anywhere near the house, it's not helpful to them because her alibi is that she was at Raffaele's house."

Ms Kercher enrolled at the city’s Universita per Stranieri (University for Foreigners) in 2007 and found a house share with Knox and two others. She was found dead in her bedroom there shortly after midday on November 2, 2007. She had been sexually assaulted and her throat slashed. 

Knox and Sollecito swiftly became prime suspects along with Rudy Hermann Guede, a drifter and small-time drug dealer originally from the Ivory Coast who was on the fringe of their social circle.

Knox and Sollecito were convicted in a joint trial in 2009 but were acquitted on appeal in 2011; Guede is serving 16 years after a separate fast-track hearing a year earlier.

In March 2013, Italy’s highest criminal court overturned the acquittals of Knox and Sollecito and the third trial began in Florence in September.

Knox declared her innocence in an email submitted to the appeal court in Florence by her lawyers before their closing arguments in which she said: 'I didn't kill Meredith."

On January 30 this year, the pair was found guilty of the murder of Ms Kercher.

The court in Florence has now published the reasons behind Knox and Sollecito’s reconviction. A 337-page report stated that Knox stabbed Ms Kercher to death in a fight over money. According to the report, known as a "motivation" of the sentence, Knox inflicted the fatal knife wound.

The document stated: "It is a matter of fact that at a certain point in the evening events accelerated; the English girl was attacked by Amanda Marie Knox, by Raffaele Sollecito, who was backing up his girlfriend, and by Rudy Hermann Guede, and constrained within her own room."

It added that it is difficult to establish a reason for the brutal murder of Ms Kercher, but goes on to cite allegations of tension between Knox and the student.

It also refers to a statement that Mr Guede made to police that Ms Kercher believed Knox stole €300 ($449) - and two credits cards - from her, which is described as a "valid motive" for the murder.

After she was freed in 2011, Knox immediately returned to her home town of Seattle to rebuild her life. She has found love with old friend James Terrano and is now a creative writing student. Last year, she released a prison memoir for which she was paid a reported £2.6 million ($4.7 million).

Telegraph, London