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Entries in Libel (1)

Tuesday
Feb152011

Amanda Knox's Parents to Face Trial in Italy for Libel

Photo Courtesy - Tiziana Fabi/AFP/ Getty Images(ROME) -- The parents of Amanda Knox were ordered by an Italian judge Tuesday to stand trial for libel for saying in a newspaper interview their daughter had been mistreated by homicide police during a night-long interrogation.

Knox is appealing her murder conviction for the 2007 stabbing death of roommate Meredith Kercher.  Part of her defense is that she was abused by police who grilled her for hours without an attorney present.  She also claims the police cuffed her on the back of the head, denied her food and water, and yelled at her.

During that overnight interrogation, Knox told police she had a "vision" that she was in the cottage when Kercher was killed and heard her scream, placing herself at the scene of the crime.  Although Knox tried to retract the statement the next morning, it was used as evidence against her in her trial which resulted in a 26-year prison term.

Knox, who is from Seattle, has since been charged with slander for saying the police were abusive.

Her parents, who repeated their daughter's explanation in an interview with Sunday Times of London in 2009, have now also been ordered tried for libel.

The trial date for the parents, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox, was set for July 4 in Perugia, Italy.

The preliminary hearing judge charged that "in particular, they said, contrary to the truth, that Amanda had not been assisted by an interpreter, that she hadn't been given food or water, that she had been abused both physically and verbally," and finally "that she had been slapped on the back of the head and threatened," according to the Italian news agency ANSA.

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