November 22, 2009 in Nation/World

Life term urged for American in Italy

Marta Falconi Associated Press
Associated Press photo

U.S. murder suspect Amanda Knox attends a court hearing in Perugia, Italy, on Saturday.
(Full-size photo)

PERUGIA, Italy – Prosecutors on Saturday requested life in prison for an American student and her ex-boyfriend accused in the fatal stabbing of her British roommate during a drug-fueled sex game – charges the U.S. woman dismissed as “pure fantasy.”

In their closing arguments, the prosecutors said Amanda Knox and Italian Raffaele Sollecito should be convicted on charges of murder and sexual violence for the 2007 slaying of Meredith Kercher.

Knox, who is from Seattle, took a deep breath when Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini requested life imprisonment – Italy’s stiffest punishment. She then addressed the court, saying that the accusations against her were “pure fantasy.”

“Meredith was my friend, I didn’t hate her,” she said in Italian, fighting back tears.

Prosecutors argued that Knox, 22, resented her British roommate and killed her, together with Sollecito and Rudy Hermann Guede, of Ivory Coast.

Defense lawyers will make their own closing arguments beginning late next week. A verdict by the eight-member jury is expected in early December.

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