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Meredith's mother " shocked" at ruling

The mother of murdered Leeds University student Meredith Kercher said she was "surprised and very shocked" by an Italian court's decision to overturn the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.

The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Ms Knox and her ex-boyfriend.

Ms Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom in 2007 while studying in Perugia, Italy.

Arline Kercher, Meredith's mother, said she had heard little more about the decision other than the verdict.

She told the Press Association: "(I am) a bit surprised, and very shocked, but that is about it at the moment.

"They have been convicted twice so it's a bit odd that it should change now."

Asked whether she had any plans following the ruling, she said: "I really don't know at the moment, I haven't got any plans."

Former lovers cleared of Kercher murder

An Italian court has overturned the conviction of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been cleared of the murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher

The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Ms Knox and her ex-boyfriend. Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old from Coulsdon, Surrey, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom in 2007 while studying in Perugia, Italy.

Her flatmate Ms Knox, a student from Seattle in the US, and Mr Sollecito spent four years in jail for the murder but were acquitted on appeal in 2011.

Ms Knox returned to the US before an appeal court threw out the acquittal and reinstated her and Mr Sollecito's guilty verdicts last year.

But Italy's highest court today overturned last year's convictions and declined to order another trial.

Ms Knox, who is now 27, awaited for the verdict in her hometown of Seattle. Her Italian former boyfriend Mr Sollecito, 30, had his travel documents seized while the court proceedings were ongoing.

The judges will release the reasons for their decision within 90 days after concluding that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence.

Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca said earlier this week: "The interest of the family is to arrive to the end of this trial. They want to be able to remember Meredith outside of the court room."

Ms Knox said last year she would become a "fugitive" if convicted and would have to be taken back "kicking and screaming" to Italy.

Last month, she announced her engagement to 27-year-old musician and school friend Colin Sutherland, who wrote to her while she was in jail.

Following the court's decision, Ms Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said: "Finished! It couldn't be better than this,"

Prosecutors claimed that Ms Kercher, a Leeds University Student, was the victim of a drug-fuelled sex game gone wrong.

But Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito consistently protested their innocence and claimed they were not in the apartment the night she died.

Rudy Guede, a drug dealer, is serving a 16-year sentence over the deat

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Italy's highest court to rule on the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito

Murder victim Meredith Kercher Credit: ITV News

Italy's supreme court will rule on Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito's verdicts today for the murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher in 2007.

Meredith was stabbed to death in her bedroom in the Italian town of Perugia. She was 21 and on an exchange from Leeds University studying in Italy as part of her degree.

Knox, her house-mate, and Sollecito, Knox's ex-boyfriend - two of the three convicted for her murder - have fought to clear their names for eight years.

Today, Italy’s highest court which is based in Rome, will rule on their guilt or innocence. It can uphold the murder convictions, over-rule them or order another trial for one or both of them.

Only Sollecito will be in court for the hearing. Amanda Knox is at home in Seattle.

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito today appeal their guilty verdicts Credit: Reuters
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Raffaele Sollecito 'innocent and disappointed'

Raffaele Sollecito says he is "disappointed" that his acquittal has been overturned in Italy.

Raffaele Sollecito seen in court in 2011 Credit: Reuters

Speaking to the Italian news agency, ANSA, Lawyer, Luca Mauri said: "Today is his birthday, he's 29. He shouldn't be disappointed because he's innocent. He thought the end could be coming to this affair".

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Six year saga of Meredith Kercher murder

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been ordered to face retrial for the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher.

Meredith's body was found in her apartment in Perugia on November 2, 2007. Here are the key events in the six year saga:

  • November 6, 2007: Amanda Knox is arrested along with Raffaele Sollecito, and Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, the owner of a pub Knox occasionally worked. Lumumba released due to lack of evidence.
  • December 6, 2007: Ivory coast national Rudy Guede extradited from Germany and arrested upon arrival in Italy
  • October 28, 2008: Judge indicts Knox and Sollecito on murder and sexual assault charges. Guede convicted of murder and sexual assault and sentenced to 30 years
  • December 4, 2009: Knox and Sollecito found guilty of murder and sexual assualt, sentenced to 25 years.
  • November 24, 2010: Appeal trials for Knox and Sollecito open
  • June 29, 2011: Independent forensics report finds much of DNA evidence used in trial by prosecution is unreliable
  • October 3, 2011: Knox and Sollecito cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher.
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Meredith's sister 'hopes to find answers' from retrial

Speaking to ITV News from the family home in Coulsdon in south London, Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie said:

We welcome the news in the sense that we hope to find the answers. We are never going to be happy about any outcome because we have still lost Meredith but we obviously support the decision and hope to get answers from it.

There are still so many unanswered questions, all we have ever wanted to do is do what we can for Meredith and to find out the truth of what happened that night.

Rudy Guede's conviction was on the basis that there was more than one person there so that is something that needs to be looked into.

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How extradition requests work between Italy & the US

  • The US and Italy brought an extradition treaty into force in 1984
  • It obliges each country to extradite anyone charged with or convicted of an extraditable offence by a jail sentence of more than one year
  • In this case, Italy must give the US specific documents to show they have "probable cause to believe" that Meredith Kercher was murdered, and Miss Knox committed the offence
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