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Amanda Knox: Italian forensic police defend work in murder appeal (video)

Amanda Knox is challenging her murder conviction in an appeals trial. But Italian police Tuesday said there was no contamination of the knife Amanda Knox and her boyfriend used to kill a British college student.

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Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer for Sollecito, said DNA can be "formidable evidence" but not with such a mixed, confusing trace.

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"Poorly collected DNA can lead to an error of justice," she told reporters during a break in the proceedings.

The two independent experts were appointed by the appeals court at the defense's request. Over two sessions of fierce cross-examination, both the prosecutors and a lawyer representing the Kercher family have sought to undermine the experts' testimony and insisted that the evidence could stand.

Stefanoni, the forensic police officer, countered some of the points made in the review, saying that DNA analyses were carried out from behind a glass wall to avoid the risk of contamination. She also said some of the standard protocols cited by the experts were published after she finished her report in May 2008.

Using some of the 119 slides she said she had prepared, she challenged the experts' finding over DNA quantity, analysis and evidence collection techniques.

The DNA review has dominated recent hearings in the 10-month appeals trial.

Just before the trial resumed, Kercher's sister issued a letter asking the appeals court to assess "every single (piece) of evidence" so justice can be done. The Kercher family insisted they still had faith in the Perugia police, investigators and the court, but also expressed worry over the evidence review.

"We find it extremely difficult to comprehend how the evidence that was so carefully developed and presented in the first hearing was valid, yet how it now seems to carry a slight chance it will become irrelevant," Stephanie Kercher said in the letter.

"We ask that the Court of Appeal assess every single (piece) of evidence, both scientific and circumstantial, as well as any witnesses who have taken the stand independently of any other information or media," she wrote.

The Kercher family has kept a low profile throughout the headline-grabbing case. The letter, released through the family's lawyer Francesco Maresca, represented a rare break in their silence.

"Meredith has been forgotten because she is no longer with us, yet this should be about her and what really happened on that tragic evening," Stephanie Kercher lamented in the letter.

Knox has been the center of attention since her arrest on Nov. 6, 2007 — four days after Kercher's body was found in a pool of blood at the apartment. Knox has been described both as an angel-faced ruthless killer and as an innocent girl caught in an Italian judicial nightmare.

Both Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 27, attended the session Monday.

A third person, Rudy Hermann Guede of the Ivory Coast, also has been convicted of Kercher's murder in a separate proceeding. Italy's highest criminal court has upheld Guede's conviction and his 16-year-prison sentence. Guede denies wrongdoing.

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