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The Associated Press

MILAN – The defamation trial of Amanda Knox’s parents in Italy has been postponed until next year after key witnesses could not attend a hearing.

Knox was freed on appeal last year after the court ruled there was no conclusive evidence that she was involved in the brutal slaying of her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. Her parents have been accused separately of defamation for an interview saying their daughter had been physically and verbally abused by police who questioned her.

Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said the officers were scheduled to testify on Friday, but were unable to attend due to police matters.

The parents, whose presence was not required, did not attend.

The court postponed the next hearing until Jan. 24. It is not uncommon in Italy for long delays between hearings.