Report: Knox facing slander charge

Report: Knox facing slander charge
PERUGIA, Italy -- The former University of Washington student accused in the murder of her British roommate is facing a slander charge, according to a report by a British news site.

According to the Times Online, the charge is over Amanda Knox's claims that Italian police hit her during interrogation.

On Friday Knox said she was brutally treated by investigators and intimidated into writing a rambling confession to the crime.

In a four-page note composed the night after her arrest, she wrote: "Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I didn't remember a fact correctly."

Knox stood up in court to insist again that she had been treated badly, saying she was called "a stupid liar" and that she was slapped on her head during police questioning.

But under cross-examination in court on Friday, a female police officer, Monica Napoleone, said she had "absolutely not" hit Knox and that she had questioned her "firmly but politely".

She said the former University of Washington student was given chamomile tea and cakes from a vending machine and later ate breakfast in the police station.

Another police officer, Fabio D'Astolto, said during his testimony that Knox was "was nervously walking up and down the hallway bringing both hands to her head and hitting it," during questioning.

Interpreter Anna Donnino, who translated for Knox as she was being questioned by police, recalled that the American had told investigators she was in the apartment the night of the slaying and heard Kercher's screams and that Knox accused Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, a Congolese man who has a pub in Perugia, of being the murderer.

"She covered her ears with her hands and said 'It's him, it's him, he's bad,"' Donnino said. "It was as if a weight had been lifted from her."

Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are on trial on charges of murder and sexual violence for the slaying of Meredith Kercher, who was found dead on Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment she shared with Knox. They have denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors allege that Kercher was killed during what began as a sex game, with Sollecito holding her by the shoulders from behind while Knox touched her with the point of a knife. They say a third man, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, tried to sexually assault Kercher and then Knox fatally stabbed her in the throat.

Knox now maintains she was not at home during the slaying. Lumumba has been briefly jailed in the case, but he is no longer a suspect and is seeking defamation damages from Knox.

Later Friday, Sollecito stood up in court to reiterate claims that police denied his requests to call his father and a lawyer the night he was questioned.