Perugia

Retired Knox appeals judge says 'no proof of guilt'

'Case built on clues, not evidence'

Retired Knox appeals judge says 'no proof of guilt'

Perugia, March 28 - The retired president of the Perugia appeals court that acquitted Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in 2011 of murdering Meredith Kercher said Thursday he remains certain of their innocence. "There was no proof of their guilt," said Claudio Pratillo Hellmann. On Tuesday, Italy's supreme Court of Cassation overturned the Perugia appellate court's decision, paving the way for a new appeals process expected later this year. Knox, now a student in Seattle, and Sollecito, a student in Verona, are suspected of cutting the throat of her roommate Kercher in 2007 while studying abroad in Perugia. "In order to convict, one must be certain of guilt. In this case, there was only scientific proof: the DNA on the knife and the clasp of Meredith's bra. Proof that the technical evaluation rejected - not us, but the evaluation," he said. In the initial criminal trial, investigators said DNA from Knox was on the handle of the murder weapon, Kercher's was on the blade and Sollecito's was on the bra clasp. But a review of the evidence later determined those samples were contaminated. "I would do everything again the same way. I haven't the slightest doubt," said Pratillo Hellmann. "Those who have read the case in its essential parts cannot be convinced of the proof of guilt. "It's absolutely impossible. We debated this quite effectively in the verdict, we deconstructed the evidence piece by piece, which in the end were only clues.

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