Radio Sandwell News

Amanda Knox and ex guilty of Meredith Kercher murder

2014-01-30 22:26:21

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are seen here in 2011 when they were acquitted

A court in Italy has reinstated the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher in 2007.

American Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Sollecito - who had pleaded not guilty - now face long jail sentences.

The latest verdict overturns the pair's successful 2011 appeal, which freed them after four years in jail.

Ms Kercher was stabbed to death in the flat she shared in Perugia with Knox.

The Meredith Kercher murder retrial explained - in 60

Thursday's fresh appeal hearing in Florence was ordered by Italy's highest court, the supreme court in Rome.

It had found that the 2011 appeal - which acquitted the pair - was flawed.

Ms Knox, who along with Mr Sollecito had denied all the charges, did not return to Italy for the case.

Ms Kercher's brother Lyle and sister Stephanie were present when the verdict was read out.

The court in Florence heard from Ms Knox's defence team in the morning before the two judges and eight jurors retired to deliberate on a verdict.

Summing up, Ms Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, told the court her innocence was "rock-solid and it allows us to await the verdict with serenity".

The supreme court overturned their acquittals last March after an appeal by prosecutors, who argued that important DNA evidence had been disregarded.

Prosecutors had asked for 26-year prison terms for the pair on the murder charge.

'DNA doubts'

Ms Kercher, from Coulsdon in south London and 21 at the time, was found with her throat cut in a flat she shared with Ms Knox in the college city of Perugia, in the central region of Umbria.

Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast was convicted of her murder at a separate trial and sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Prosecutors sought to prove Ms Kercher had died in a sex game involving Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito that had gone wrong.

Prosecutors have since alleged that the murder resulted from a heated argument over cleanliness in the Perugia apartment.

Arrested days after the murder and detained in prison, Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito were tried and convicted in November 2009.

In 2011, an eight-member jury cleared both defendants of Ms Kercher's murder after doubts were raised over procedures used to gather DNA evidence.

Raffaele Sollecito
Raffaele Sollecito, who denies the charges, was in the courtroom earlier

Ordering a retrial last year, the supreme court moved proceedings from Umbria to Florence, in the northern region of Tuscany.

Mr Sollecito, 29, told the court in November that it made "no real sense" for him to have committed "such an atrocious act".



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