These are rather disturbing days for the 21-year-old US student Amanda Knox in the Italian court. More witnesses turn up to nail her alibi as false.
The trial of Knox and her former boyfriend Robert Sollecito over the death of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in November 2007 seems to be remorselessly closing in on Knox who used to style herself Foxy Knoxy.
AdvertisementMiss Kercher, a Leeds University student who was from Coulsdon, Surrey, was in Italy as part of a year-long exchange programme with her European Studies degree. She had only been in Perugia for two months when she was killed. She was found semi naked and with her throat cut in her bedroom in the house she shared with Knox. Prosecution says it was a violent sex game gone awry.
Antonio Curatolo, 52, told the court Saturday that a couple he had seen Knox and Sollecito chatting animatedly on a basketball court on the night Kercher was killed. He had seen them "around five times" between 9.30pm and midnight then.
Knox and Sollecito have always claimed they were at home when Miss Kercher was killed and did not leave until the following morning.
When asked if he recognised the two people he had seen in court Mr Curatolo said he could. He pointed out Knox and Sollecito who were sitting just a few yards away from him.
Last week the court heard supermarket owner Marco Quintavalle describe how he had seen Knox at 7.45am the morning after Meredith's murder.
According to a post-mortem report, Miss Kercher was murdered between 9pm and 11pm on 1st November 2007.
Police have recovered at Sollecito's house a receipt for cleaning products from the shop where Knox was allegedly spotted. Officers say bleach and cloths found in the house were used to clean the knife used in the murder and the murder scene itself.
Knox, dressed in a lilac jumper and blue jeans, exchanged glances with Sollecito in court and during breaks smiled and joked with warders guarding her, Telegraph reported.
Nara Capezzali, 68, told the court Friday day what she had heard the night of 1st November 2007 and said: "I went to bed around 9-930pm as there was nothing on the TV and I woke up around two hours later to go to the bathroom.
"On my way I passed by the window and heard a scream, not a normal scream but a prolonged scream, it made my skin crawl. I didn't know what was happening.
"I looked out the window but didn't see anything. Then a few minutes later I heard running on the metal staircase and then running through the leaves going in the other direction, it was at least two people.
"The scream left me really disturbed, even know it troubles me, it was a woman's scream, there was no call for help it was just a scream then nothing."
Merdith's body was found the following day and Mrs Capezzali then imitated the scream she had heard by making a prolonged screeching noise.
Knox looked intently as Mrs Capezzali gave her evidence occasionally making notes or talking with her legal team.
Earlier as she had walked in, escorted by two prison guards, she said: "I'm fine. The trial is going OK," she then exchanged smiles with Sollecito who celebrated his 25th birthday on Thursday.
Knox sent him a card for his birthday in return for a bouquet of flowers that she had been given by Sollecito when she turned 21 last year and he also received a pen from his lawyers plus a figure of the saint Padre Pio from his dad.
Knox had wanted to send him a cake but this was banned by prison warders at Perugia's Capanne jail where the two are being held in custody while their trial continues.
Marco Brusco, Sollecito's lawyer, said: "He would have preferred to celebrate outside jail with his friends and family who he misses a great deal but obviously that was not possible.
"He had a card from Amanda, a pen from his legal team and a statue of St Padre Pio from his father. Raffaele is very religious and takes his faith seriously."
Earlier this week he was allowed out to attend an interview with lecturers from Verona University where he hopes to enrol on a specialist computer studies correspondence course.
Knox's mother Edda Mellas has arrived to give her support but will not be allowed to attend court as she is listed as a witness.
The court is sitting on Fridays and Saturdays as in Italy trials are not heard continuously but on an ad hoc basis depending on the availability of lawyers and judges who could be involved in several hearings at a time.
Francesco Maresca, the Kercher's lawyer said that he expected the case to be finished by the autumn and that Meredith's parents and brothers and sisters would give evidence probably in May.
Last October a third defendant, 21-year-old Ivory Coast national Rudy Guede, was found guilty and sentenced to 30 years for sexually assaulting and murdering Meredith.