Amanda Knox’s parents ordered to stand trial for libel

Italian courts have ordered the parents of former UW student Amanda Knox to stand trial for libel against the Italian police, according to The Seattle Times.

Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were indicted for libel in Perugia, Italy, after accusing the Italian police of abusing their daughter during investigations into the murder of Meredith Kercher. The trial has been set for July 4.

Knox was given a 26-year prison term in Italy after being convicted in the murder and sexual assault of her British roommate, Kercher. Knox’s ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years for the same crimes. Both are currently appealing their sentences.

The family released a statement saying the charges against them “are not new” and that they were served to them while they were attending the first day of the defense’s closing arguments in Knox’s trial at the end of November 2009.

“We did then what we have done since our daughter was arrested — speak out and seek to inform that Amanda has been wrongfully charged and now wrongfully convicted,” the statement said. “The continuation of these charges against us was not unexpected.”

Theodore Simon, Knox’s lawyer, according to the release said that “formal charges directed at Amanda’s parents cannot and will not shake their resolve to continue to speak out.”

Earlier this year the courts agreed to a third-party review of the DNA evidence used to tie Knox to Kercher’s murder.

A Lifetime movie titled “Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy” is scheduled to air Feb. 21. The lawyers of both Knox and Sollecito have asked the network not to air the film, which has also been denounced by Kercher’s father.

The film stars “Heroes” actress Hayden Panettiere in the title role and Marcia Gay Harden as her mother.

Reach reporter Nick Visser at news@dailyuw.com.

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