Italy Charges Amanda Knox's Parents With Libel

By: CBS News
By: CBS News

A lawyer said the parents of Amanda Knox, the American student convicted of murder in Italy, have been ordered to stand trial for alleging that Italian police abused their daughter.

The Italian news agency ANSA said Curt Knox and Edda Mellas were indicted Tuesday in Perugia for libel.

Lawyer Luciano Ghirga confirmed the indictment and said the trial was set for July 4. He said the couple did not attend the hearing.

The charge stems from an interview they gave Britain's Sunday Times years ago in which the father alleged that police had physically and verbally abused his daughter during questioning after Meredith Kercher's 2007 slaying but before Knox was arrested.

In the Sunday Times interview published June 15, 2008, Curt Knox said, "Amanda was abused physically and verbally. She told us she was hit in the back of the head by a police officer with an open hand, at least twice. The police told her, 'If you ask for a lawyer, things will get worse for you' and 'If you don't give us some explanation for what happened, you're going to go to jail for a very long time.'"

Edda Mellas told the paper that Amanda was told she would never see her family again, and gave a description of the officer who allegedly struck her.

The Sunday Times said that could not be published for legal reasons.

Police have denied harming Knox.

A Knox family representative said they would have no comment.

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