July 1, 2011 / 6:56 PM / in 6 years

Amanda Knox thrilled by latest trial evidence: mother

PERUGIA, Italy (Reuters) - Amanda Knox, the U.S. student convicted of killing her English housemate, is “thrilled” by the forensic report in her favor in her appeals trial this week, her mother told Reuters on Friday.

“Finally the truth is coming out,” Edda Mellas said in an interview after an independent forensic report on Wednesday discredited police evidence used to help convict her daughter of the 2007 murder.

“Amanda is thrilled, she feels like she can breathe,” said Mellas, speaking outside the prison in the Italian university city of Perugia where Knox has been held for the last two years.

Forensic experts appointed by the court said that DNA evidence used in the trial was unreliable and numerous errors had been made by police scientists.

Knox, 23, and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were jailed in December 2009 to 26 and 25 years respectively for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

The English student, 21, was found half naked with her throat cut in the house she shared with Knox. Prosecutors said the murder was the result of a frenzied sex game that spiraled out of control in a case that has attracted huge media attention, boosted by the Seattle student’s good looks.

In key evidence this week, the experts said there was no evidence supporting the original police conclusion that Kercher’s blood was found on a knife which they identified as the murder weapon and which had been handled by Knox.

“It supports everything our experts have said from the beginning,” said Mellas. “It shows there is no connection with Amanda or Raffaele to this crime.”

The court scientists, Carla Vecchiotti and Stefano Conti, confirmed police conclusions that Knox’s DNA was found on the handle of the knife but said material on the blade was from starch.

The experts also said there was no DNA evidence on a clip from Kercher’s bra which police said was traceable to Sollecito, 27. The report was obtained by journalists at the court.

In a scathing indictment of the methods of the Italian police, the experts said tests on the blade of the knife “as obtained appear unreliable because not supported by scientifically valid analytical procedures.”

Writing by Gavin Jones

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