UK & World News
Knox Trial: Mobster Accuses Brother Of Murder
A transgender mafia convict has accused her own brother of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher at the retrial of Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-lover.
Jailed mobster Luciano Aviello, who told the court she wanted to be referred to as "Luciano Lucia", served time in prison with Knox's co-accused Raffaele Sollecito.
It is the second time she has taken the stand, having done so already at the original trial before retracting her testimony and being charged with perjury.
But giving evidence, Aviello, who has convictions for defamation, returned to her original accusation, claiming that her brother killed Meredith in the university town of Perugia in 2007, during a random burglary.
"My brother is the guilty one, not Amanda or Sollecito," said Aviello, who is still in prison for a separate case.
The testimony has already been widely dismissed as unreliable, and lawyers questioned why the appeal court judges had decided to re-hear it.
Meredith was found in a pool of blood in the house she shared with Knox on November 2, 2007. She had been stabbed, and experts said the murder had to have been carried out by more than one person.
Ivory Coast-born drifter Rudy Guede, who like Knox and Sollecito has always denied the murder, is the only person still in prison for the crime.
Neither Knox nor Sollecito is in court, although Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno said he would address the court at an unspecified future date.
Knox and Sollecito served four years in prison before being acquitted on appeal in 2011, but earlier this year Italy's highest court dramatically ruled there should be a fresh trial for both of them.
Knox, 26, now a University of Washington student in Seattle, has insisted she will not return to Italy saying she had been depicted as "a sex fiend" and "a young, unscrupulous liar".
The prosecution has said that the murder was the result of "an erotic game that spun out of control" - a theory the supreme court suggested was valid, and asked the retrial to examine.
The court also decided that new DNA tests on a kitchen knife, believed by prosecutors to be the murder weapon, could be carried out.
Francesco Maresca, the Kercher family lawyer, said: "The court has to draw conclusions, but we can say that if genetic traces of the defendants or the victims were to be found on the weapon, we would have certainly made a step forward."
Luca Maori, Sollecito's lawyer, explained that "he is calm and he is waiting" and had avoided the trial "because the attention has to be focused on the trial. He wants to defend himself in the trial and not from the trial".