FLORENCE, Italy - A lawyer urged an Italian appeals court on Monday to convict Amanda Knox of murdering British student Meredith Kercher and denounced as "unbearable" that the American was soliciting donations in Kercher's memory.
Francesco Maresca, in his closing arguments on behalf of the Kercher family in the third trial of Knox and codefendant Raffaele Sollecito, urged the eight lay jurors on the panel of 10 to disregard publicity over the case as well as Knox's own statements, including her criticism of Italy's judicial system.
He said the world's attention has focused on Knox, while "the victim has fallen into oblivion, to the immense pain of the Kercher family."
Knox is soliciting donations on her website for her defense as well as a separate, as yet-unspecified project in Kercher's memory.
Knox's attorney, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said after the hearing that she was doing so out of the friendship she felt for Kercher, and that the criticism of her actions was irrelevant to the case.
Maresca also urged the court to disregard Sollecito's statement to the court last month professing his innocence, noting that he had "just returned from a vacation in Santo Domingo, where he is again in these days, as we are here hearing such an important trial against him."
Kercher, 21, was brutally murdered in November 2007 in the apartment she shared with Knox in the picturesque university town of Perugia. Prosecutors claim Knox and Sollecito carried out the murder with a third man, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence.