Amanda Knox today spoke for the first time in her trial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher - and said a sex toy which had apparently caused problems between the pair was just a "joke".
By Nick Squires in Perugia
Last Updated: 2:28PM GMT 13 Feb 2009
Amanda Knox: The American allegedly claimed to have been the first to have found Miss Kercher Photo: AP
Miss Knox, 21, stood up in court to declare her innocence and said she had faith that under the Italian justice system “everything will be resolved.”
Wearing a blue jumper and jeans, she addressed the presence of a vibrator in her wash bag, which Miss Kercher had complained about as one of the sources of problems between the two women in the house they shared in Perugia, Umbria.
The court heard earlier that Miss Kercher thought it was “strange” that her American flatmate would leave the vibrator, along with condoms, in a clear-sided wash bag without apparent embarrassment.
“I just want to explain something about that beauty case,” Miss Knox told the court in fluent Italian.
“It was a joke, a gift from a friend before I got to Italy. It was pink and shaped like a little rabbit (the Rampant Rabbit is a brand of vibrator). I’m innocent and I have faith that everything will be resolved.”
Prosecutors are likely to use the vibrator to suggest that Miss Knox was sexually precocious and adventurous.
Prosecutors allege that the former lovers tried to force Miss Kercher to take part in a sex game and that Miss Knox then stabbed her in the neck with a knife when she resisted. Both deny the charges.
The court heard earlier that Miss Knox kissed and cuddled her boyfriend in the hours after Miss Kercher was found murdered in the hill-side villa they lived in.
Miss Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 24, were among a group of students who were called to a police station in Perugia on Nov 2, 2007, the day Miss Kercher was found with her throat cut.
“I found Amanda’s behaviour very strange,” said Robyn Butterworth, 23, one of seven friends of Miss Kercher who has been called to testify to the court in Perugia where Miss Knox and her ex-boyfriend are on trial for murder and sexual assault.
“I found it difficult to be with her because she showed no emotion when everyone else was really upset. We were all crying but I didn’t see Amanda cry,” said Miss Butterworth, of Northampton, who was studying with Miss Kercher at Perugia’s University for Foreigners.
“She and Raffaele were kissing and joking together, there was laughter at some point, I remember Amanda stuck her tongue out at Raffaele. She put her feet up on his lap and they were kissing and cuddling and talking.”
Another friend, Natalie Hayward, expressed the hope that Miss Kercher had not suffered when she died.
Miss Knox allegedly replied: “What do you think? She ------- bled to death.”
Defence lawyers say that Miss Kercher was murdered during a violent sex attack by an Ivory Coast-born drifter, Rudy Guede, 22.
At a separate fast-track trial in October he was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years in prison. The defence say Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito had nothing to do with the crime.
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