As Meredith Kercher's killers prepare their appeal, serious questions are being asked about the man who led the case against them
One of Italy's most rambunctious legal performers, the scourge of Amanda Knox, was back in action last week.
Plump, pompous and perspiring, Giuliano Mignini, 60, may look like a character out of Dickens, but in persuading a Perugia jury to convict Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of murdering Knox's English flatmate Meredith Kercher, the public prosecutor for the city of Perugia earned himself a reputation for steely ruthlessness in nailing his enemies.
A devout Catholic with a dim view of lax modern ways, he went on to demand that Knox serve not 26 years, as decided by the court, but life. And he was on form again this week, adding to the American student's woes by prosecuting her for slander. During the murder trial, Knox had claimed that, during an all-night grilling, a woman police officer had repeatedly slapped her. Mignini said "the good name of the Perugia police" had been attacked and asked the judge to add another six years to Knox's sentence.
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