Amanda Knox facing slander trial; defense crying foul

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by LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @LByronK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 13, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Updated Thursday, May 13 at 6:42 PM

PERUGIA, Italy – Amanda Knox, the University of Washington exchange student who is serving 26 years for murder in Italy, is about to go on trial on new charges that could extend her sentence.

Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted in December of killing Knox's British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007.

Even though prosecutor Giuliano Mignini successfully won the murder conviction, he's not satisfied. He's already appealing Knox's sentence, saying she got off too easy and deserves life in prison.

On June 1, Mignini will again be leading the charge against Knox in the same courtroom, this time on slander charges. Mignini says Knox lied when she testified that police beat her during questioning at police headquarters the night of her arrest.

Knox's defense team is crying foul because it was Mignini who oversaw the investigation and interrogation of Knox. They will ask for a new prosecutor.

They are also challenging the judge who ruled against Knox in the pre-trial hearings. They say the judge is biased.

If convicted of slander, Knox could face an additional six years in prison and a hefty fine.

Perugia is also abuzz about a possible new witness surfacing in the case. He's a prisoner who claims to know who Kercher's real killer is and where the murder weapon was hidden. A similar claim was made recently by a convicted child killer. He said Rude Guede, the Ivory Coast man convicted in Kercher's slaying, confessed that he had acted alone and the Knox and Sollecito weren't even there.

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