Surprise testimony emerged in Italy Friday indicating that American student Amanda Knox, who was recently convicted of murder in Perugia, Italy, was not present at the scene of the crime when her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, was killed.
This is just the latest twist in the ongoing Italian murder case involving Knox, 22, who was convicted in December along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 25, of sexually assaulting Kercher, then killing her by slashing her throat. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison; Sollecito received 25 years.
A third person, Rudy Guede, 23, an Ivory Coast native, was convicted earlier of taking part in the murder. He was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison, but that term was reduced to 14 years on appeal.
On Friday the lawyers for Sollecito deposited video-taped testimony from a fellow convict of Rudy Guede, Mario Alessi, in which he says Guede confided to him in jail that Knox and Sollecito were not at the house when Kercher was killed but that another man was present. According to Alessi, Guede told him the man, who has never been mentioned or suspected, killed Kercher when he was in the bathroom. Guede did not reveal his name.
Guede has always admitted to being at the house the night of Kercher's murder (his palm print was found under the victim's body, and his DNA on her body and clothing), but has said in past statements that he was in the bathroom when Kercher was killed, and he found himself face to face with a knife-yielding man when he came out. He has never named Sollecito, and in his most recent statement, to the Perugia appeals court in November, Guede said he did not recognize the man wielding the knife, but that while in the bathroom he had heard and recognized Knox's voice as she argued with Kercher just before the killing. He said he saw Knox's "silhouette" leaving the house with a man, when he looked out the window.
Guede says he then tried to rescue Meredith but fled in a panic.
Alessi is well known in Italy as the man who kidnapped and murdered Tommaso Onofri, a 2-year old boy, in 2006 in a case that drew as much media attention as the Knox case. He made his revelations in a letter he addressed to one of Sollecito's lawyers, Giulia Bongiorno, who is a well-known figure in Italian judicial circles. Bongiorno is a parliamentarian and the head of the Justice Commission in Parliament.
Alessi is serving a life sentence, recently confirmed on appeal, in the same prison in Viterbo, Italy, as Guede. They are both in the special section reserved for those accused of sex crimes.
According to Alessi's account, Guede told him that the other man killed Kercher when she refused to participate in a sex triangle. Rudy and his friend, according to the account, then met up again later at a disco.
Sollecito's Perugia lawyer, Luca Maori, confirmed to ABC News that they had deposited a 2 1/2 hour video of the interview of Alessi that they conducted two weeks ago in prison with the Perugia court. Maori did not want to comment on the matter because it is "very delicate" and the testimony is being evaluated by the court authorities.
Guede's lawyers, however, discount Alessi's testimony, saying it is just "another desperate attempt by desperate inmates" to get attention and "please the defendants," as in Knox and Sollecito.