Amanda Knox returns to court this Saturday

Former UW student Amanda Knox, who is being held in custody in Italy for her possible role in the murder of her British roommate while studying abroad nearly one year ago, will return again to court this Saturday.

In the fourth in a series of pretrial hearings, Judge Paolo Micheli will decide whether the case should proceed to trial.

These hearings stem from the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher. She was found dead on Nov. 2 with her throat slashed in the Perugia flat she shared with Knox and others.

Knox was joined in court by Rudy Guede, who is also accused of killing Kercher. The third suspect, Knox’s ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, was not present at the first pre-trial hearing.

If the judge decides there’s enough evidence to try them, the trial is likely to start early next year.

According to The Seattle Times, Knox’s Italian defense team is busy trying to battle the conflicting witness accounts as well as what they deem to be unfair treatment by the court.

“Amanda Knox is in grave danger of being convicted of the murder because of illegal and improper poisoning of public opinion and judicial opinion,” wrote King County Superior Court Judge Mike Heavey to the Italian council that regulates judges, according to the Times. “I respectfully submit that the prosecutor’s office, police and prison employees have made illegal and false statements ... These false reports have wrongfully poisoned the well of public opinion against Amanda.”

Knox is the subject of three civil suits, one of which was filed by Kercher’s family after her death, according to KOMO news.

Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, who is suing Knox for allegedly falsely implicating him in the murder, attended the hearing.

The owner of the flat Knox and Kercher had rented has filed the third suit for the trouble he has had in re-renting his property following Kercher’s death.

Supporters of Knox have begun selling “Free Amanda” merchandise online. The items include T-shirts, baseball caps and teddy bears emblazoned with Knox’s picture. The new products are the latest effort from Knox’s dedicated supporters, including her friends and family, who have set up MySpace and Facebook groups to protest her innocence.

Reach reporter Nicole Ciridon at news@dailyuw.com

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