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Witness claims he can clear Knox

A convicted child murderer has told a court he had information clearing Amanda Knox of the killing of British student Meredith Kercher.

Giving evidence at the American student's appeal hearing in the Italian town of Perugia, Mario Alessi recounted a jailhouse confession made to him by Rudy Guede, who was also convicted of killing the 21-year-old.

The Ivory Coast national confided in him that Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were innocent, he said.

Knox, 23, from Seattle, is appealing against her conviction and 26-year prison sentence for the murder of her University of Leeds student housemate in November 2007.

Sollecito, 26, who was sentenced to 25 years for the murder, is also trying to clear his name, and Alessi was called by his defence.

Alessi told the court that Guede made his claim about the pair's innocence in November 2009 during recreation time at the Viterbo prison, but Guede - who was convicted in separate proceedings to the former lovers' - denies this.

Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon in Surrey, was on her year abroad when she was found with her throat slit in her bedroom at the house she shared with Knox and others.

Prosecutors said the murder followed a sex game taken to the extreme.

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