Europe

Amanda Knox's parents ordered to stand trial in Italy

Amanda Knox
Image caption Amanda Knox is appealing against her murder conviction

The parents of jailed US student Amanda Knox have been ordered to stand trial by a court in the Italian city of Perugia for libelling the police.

The couple told a newspaper that their daughter was abused by police during their investigation into the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Knox is currently serving a 26-year sentence in an Italian jail for the 2007 murder of her flatmate.

Perugia's police deny the accusations by Curt Knox and Edda Mellas.

Their trial is due to begin on 4 July.

The charge stems from an interview they gave to Britain's Sunday Times two years ago in which they said their daughter had - after arrest - been refused an interpreter, deprived of food and water, and physically and verbally abused by the police.

Image caption British student Meredith Kercher was murdered in November 2007

The couple are also accused of falsely claiming that Knox was hit on the head by a policeman and threatened with violence if she asked for a lawyer.

Knox, 23, is currently appealing against her conviction in 2009 for the murder of Ms Kercher, 21, a Leeds university student who came from south London, at their shared house.

Her defence team maintains that the DNA evidence in the case was inconclusive and has argued it may have been contaminated when analysed.

Knox's former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, received a 25-year sentence for the murder in Perugia, southern Italy, in 2007.

Ivorian drug dealer Rudy Guede has already had his 30-year sentence for involvement in the killing reduced to 16 years on appeal.

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