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Amanda Knox described as 'victim of tragic case'

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Media captionAmanda Knox arrived for her appeal hearing in Perugia

Convicted murderer Amanda Knox is the victim of "a tragic judicial case", her defence lawyer has said.

Knox and and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are appealing their 2009 convictions for murdering UK student Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007.

Defence lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told the appeals court in Perugia Knox had been "crucified" and "impaled" by news reports of the case.

Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann said a verdict would be delivered on Monday.

In his closing arguments, Mr Dalla Vedova urged the panel hearing the case to see past the image of Knox he said had been created by media and the prosecution.

He condemned "fantastical reconstructions" of the crime, saying Knox had been "crucified, impaled on the public square".

"She was a girl who was quite different from how she has been depicted," he said. "How many times have we heard Amanda Knox saying 'Why don't they believe me?'"

Mr Dalla Vedova told the court a kitchen knife said to place Knox at the scene of the crime should not be considered as evidence as it did not match Ms Kercher's wounds or contain her DNA.

He said Knox was an innocent woman who had spent almost 1,000 days in prison after the first trial, which he said was a "mistake". Mr Verdova urged jurors not to make another "at the cost of keeping innocents in prison".

American Knox, 24, and Italian Sollecito, 26, were convicted in 2009 of murdering Miss Kercher four years ago in her bedroom of the flat she and Knox shared in the central Italian city of Perugia.

Miss Kercher was on an exchange year from Leeds University.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, while 27-year-old Italian Sollecito was given 25 years.

Knox and Sollecito have spent almost a year appealing against their convictions.

Knox's appeal case has centred on a review of DNA evidence which indicated it was flawed.

A third person - Rudy Guede, 21 - was also convicted of Miss Kercher's murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year term.

Guede also denied wrongdoing but his conviction has been upheld on appeal.

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