Q&A: Kercher murder appeal
As the acquittals in the Meredith Kercher murder trial are overturned, BBC News looks at the issues involved.
What are the facts of the case?
British exchange student Meredith Kercher was found stabbed to death at the house she shared in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007. Three people were tried for her murder. One, Ivorian drifter Rudy Guede, was tried, convicted and jailed for 16 years. The others, US student and housemate Amanda Knox and her Italian student boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, were tried separately and convicted of murder and sexual violence in December 2009. They maintained their innocence. The former was jailed for 26 years, the latter for 25. In October 2011, both were freed on appeal, largely after doubts were raised about the forensic evidence against them.
Why were the acquittals of Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito overturned?
No details were given about the decision of Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation. They will only be disclosed when a full ruling is released within 90 days.
If the acquittals have been struck down, does this mean the former couple are going back to jail?
No, this is not a "guilty" verdict. Neither Miss Knox nor Mr Sollecito face re-arrest pending the outcome of the new appeals process.
Is this a retrial?
This re-run of the appeals process is technically not a new trial but a continuation of the original one, and therefore not considered a double jeopardy. A court in Florence is expected to begin the proceedings before the summer.
Is Miss Knox likely to be required to return to Italy?
Italy has no power to summon Miss Knox, the focus of lurid media attention in the past, to the hearing and the case will probably be heard in her absence. If she is convicted again, Italy may request her extradition, but the US is famously reluctant to hand over its citizens. Even if the appeals court confirmed her conviction, a further appeal could still be taken to the Supreme Court without her presence.
What forensic evidence was used to convict Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito?
Prosecutors pointed to a bra clasp belonging to Miss Kercher where Mr Sollecito's DNA was reportedly found. They maintained that Miss Knox's DNA was on the handle of a kitchen knife used in the attack, with Miss Kercher's DNA on the blade. In addition, traces of Miss Knox's blood and footprints were found in the house.
How did the pair react to news of their acquittal being struck down?
Miss Knox vowed to clear her name again. "Any questions as to my innocence must be examined by an objective investigation and a capable prosecution," she said in a statement. Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer for Mr Sollecito, sought to play down the court's ruling, saying: "It's a decision that cancels a verdict and orders a retrial... I'm not concerned about a deeper reading of the documentation, because I know the documentation.''
What did the lawyer acting for Miss Kercher's family have to say?
Francesco Maresca said unanswered questions remained. "All the traces and forensic evidence leads [one] to think that there were a number of people in that house, the first court had determined that Sollecito and Knox were there, the appeals court said they were not," he said. "Let's see."