SEATTLE - The Italian Supreme Court has turned down a request by Amanda Knox’s attorneys to replace the judge in her upcoming slander trial, which is scheduled to begin Friday.
Prosecutors charged Knox with slander after she was convicted of murder. They say she falsely accused police of hitting her during initial questioning at the police station. The hearing Friday is a pre-trial proceeding to determine whether Knox will officially stand trial.
In a hearing yesterday in Rome, Knox's lawyers asked that Judge Claudia Matteini be removed because she had ruled against Knox on two occasions in the past.
It was judge Matteini who decided that Knox should be tried for the 2007 murder of her British house mate Meredith Kercher. Matteini also ruled against giving Knox house arrest while she was waiting to learn whether she would be officially charged.
Knox is currently serving a 26-year prison sentence and waiting for her case to be heard on appeal.
Both the slander trial and the appeal on murder charges will take place in Perugia, the Umbrian capitol where Knox and her Italian boyfriend were convicted of murder last December.
Reached by telephone, Knox’s father, Curt Knox, had no comment on today’s decision. Knox's stepfather, Chris Mellas, who is in Perugia, told KING 5: "We don't have the judge's motivation (the official explanation for the ruling), so we don't know the reasoning."