UK

Amanda Knox appeal: Jury told to remember Kercher

  • 24 September 2011
  • From the section UK
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are expecting to learn the appeal verdict by early October

Italian prosecutors have urged a jury considering an appeal by two convicted murderers of British student Meredith Kercher to remember her family.

US student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, deny any wrongdoing and are appealing against their 2009 convictions.

In a closing speech, prosecutors said an "obsessive" media campaign to free Knox had distracted jurors.

"All clues converge towards the only possible result... guilty," they said.

Before a packed courtroom, prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola denounced the media campaign that made "everyone feel like the parents" of Knox and Sollecito.

"As you make your decision, I wish that you jurors feel a little bit like the parents of Meredith Kercher, a serious, studious girl whose life was taken by these two kids from good families," he said.

The prosecution will sum up its case on Saturday. Next week the court will hear closing arguments from the Kercher family's lawyer and the defence.

A verdict is expected by early October.

Bloody footprints

Knox, 24, and Sollecito, 26, were convicted of murdering Miss Kercher four years ago in her bedroom after a bungled sex game.

Miss Kercher had been sharing a flat with Knox in the central Italian city of Perugia during an exchange year abroad from Leeds University.

Knox's appeal case has centred on a review of DNA evidence which indicated it was flawed.

However, Mr Costagliola challenged the results of the review and defended the original investigation which found both Knox's and Miss Kercher's DNA on a kitchen knife, believed to be the murder weapon.

Mr Costagliola also listed the clues which he said pointed to their guilt, including bloody footprints in the house compatible with the defendants, contradictory alibis and a staged burglary at the murder scene aimed at side-tracking the investigation.

Before the final stages of the hearing got under way, the Kercher family conducted a rare interview with Italian television.

Stephanie Kercher, 21, expressed regret that her sister had been "completely forgotten" in the four years since her death.

"There's not much of Meredith in the media," she said.

"There aren't photos of her in the media. The focus has completely moved away from Meredith to Amanda and Raffaele.

"And Meredith was so lovely - an intelligent, kind, caring person."

Their mother, Arline Kercher, said her daughter, who was 21 when she died, had been a "very loving child, a very sweet girl".

Knox is serving a 26-year sentence for murder, while Sollecito is serving 25 years.

The former lovers have spent almost a year appealing against their convictions and are expecting to learn whether they will walk free by early October.

A third person - Rudy Guede, 21 - was also convicted of Miss Kercher's murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year term.

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