Meredith Kercher's murder: the story so far

By MSN UK News AP
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Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito have had their guilty verdicts upheld in an appeal trial into the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

The verdict confirms an original 2009 conviction, and sentences Knox to serve 28 years and six months in jail. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years.

Knox is in the United States and any detention would depend on the outcome of yet another appeal and she would have to be extradited to serve the sentence. Sollecito is free pending a definitive confirmation of the verdict by Italy's highest court but cannot travel out of the country.

Click or swipe through the gallery for a timeline of events in the case so far

Reuters
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6 November 2007

Five days after Meredith Kercher's death, three people are arrested for conspiracy to commit manslaughter and sexual violence. They include Meredith Kercher's housemate 20-year-old American Amanda Knox, seen here arriving at an Italian court.

Reuters
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6 November 2007

Raffaele Sollecito, a 24-year-old computer science graduate from Italy is also arrested. He and Knox are a couple at the time and are together on the night Miss Kercher is killed.

Reuters
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6 November 2007

The third person arrested is Congolese national Patrick Diya Lumumba who works as a barman in Perugia. All three of the accused deny involvement but the following day a judge rules they all should be remanded in police custody. Two weeks later Lumumba is released because of lack of evidence linking him to the crime.

AP
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6 December 2007

Rudy Hermann Guede becomes a suspect following his arrest by police in Germany. Guede appears in a German court where he denies involvement, but the following month he is extradited to Italy because police find his fingerprints at the crime scene.

AP Photo/Stefano Medici
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28 October 2008

After Italian prosecutors confirm murder charges for the three suspects, Guede asks for a fast-track trial. These means he gives up the right to challenge the evidence, in exchange for a lighter sentence. After the trial Guede is found guilty and on 28 October he is sentenced to 30 years in prison; this sentence is reduced to 16 years on appeal.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
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16 January 2009

Knox and Sollecito opt to face a full trial, which begins on 16 January 2009 before Judge Giancarlo Massei, Deputy Judge Beatrice Cristiani and six lay judges at the Corte d'Assise of Perugia. The pair are charged with with murder, sexual assault, simulating a crime (burglary), carrying a knife plus the theft of 300 euros, two credit cards and two mobile phones.

Reuters
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18 April 2009

The jury visit the murder scene: the flat Knox and Kercher shared. Curt Knox is seen here on the right watching on.

 

AP
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29 May 2009

Witnesses begin testifying at the trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in April. One police officer explains that Sollectio, pictured in May, mentions when questioned that he is "a fan of arms and knives" despite the Italian later insisting that he wouldn't hurt a fly.

AP
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6 June 2009

Miss Kercher's mother gives evidence during the trial of Knox and Sollectio. The 63-year-old tells how she still desperately misses her daughter and is not likely to ever get over the brutal way Meredith died.

AP
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12 June 2009

Amanda Knox makes scathing remarks about her treatment by Italian police saying they had beaten her up and called her a "stupid liar". Knox admits in court that she wrongly identified Patrick Lumumba as a suspect because of the pressure police were putting on her.

AP
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20 November 2009

Speaking in Italian, Knox makes a plea in court maintaining the accusations against her are "pure fantasy". On 3 Decemeber 2009 the court hears another plea from Knox who says: "I'm afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced on to my skin." She explained that during her time in prison she has felt "confused, sad, frustrated" about being there.

AP Photo/Luca Bruno
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November 2009

The key elements to the prosecution's case are that the break-in at Kercher's apartment was staged. Broken glass on top of ransacked clothing is the main reason for this assumption. Other key evidence includes the murder weapon being found at Sollecito's apartment with Knox's DNA on the handle and Kercher's on the tip, plus Sollecito's DNA being found on Kercher's bra clasp.

AP
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4 December 2009

Knox and Sollectio are found guilty of murder and sexual violence. Knox bursts into tears when she learns of her 26-year sentence, while Sollecito appears unmoved by the decision to jail him for 25 years. The family of Amanda Knox announce the following day that she will appeal against the verdict.

 
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11 December 2010

The appeal case begins. Knox is granted a review of the forensic evidence which has been used as a key indicator throughout the trial as particular traces found were disputed. An emotional Knox tells of how her life has been "broken" by the experience and that the conviction is an "enormous mistake".

AP
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15 February 2011

Amanda Knox attends a hearing in June 2010 for slanderous accusations she made regarding how Italian police treated her while she was under interrogation. Her parents supported their daughter's claims that she was mistreated, and are subsequently directed to stand trial in July 2011 for libel comments made about the police.

AP
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21 February 2011

Hayden Panettiere plays the part of Amanda Knox in a US film about the murder case. Knox labels the production as an "invasion of my life" and attempts to ban the film from further release.

AP
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18 June 2011

The appeal court hears from Mario Alessi, a prisoner who claims Guede told him while they were in jail together that Knox and Sollecito were innocent. Alessi testifies that an unidentified accomplice carried out the murder.

AP
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25 July 2011

It emerges police did not wear correct protective clothing while gathering crucial evidence, and consequently some of the DNA collected may have been contaminated according to experts addressing the appeal court. They explain that procedures followed by police did not meet international standards. However on 7 September 2011, Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann rejects a request by prosecutors to carry out new tests on DNA saying this would be unnecessary.

AP
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23 September 2011

The appeal court hears the beginning of the closing arguments. Defence lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova asks the jury to see past the image of Knox the media has created; that of a "she-devil" or sex-obsessed "foxy-Knoxy". Sollecito's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno backs this point insisting Knox isn't a manipulating "femme-fatale" but more like "Jessica Rabbit - just drawn that way".

 

 
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3 October 2011

The jury acquits Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of Meredith Kercher's murder. Cheers are heard in the Perugia courtroom as the verdict is read out. Knox breaks down in tears while Sollecito looks stunned. Earlier, Knox addresses the court for the first time. Speaking in Italian, she says: "I am not who they say I am". Italian prosecutors say they will appeal against the court's decision.

AP
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26 March 2013

Italy's highest criminal court overturns the acquittal of and Sollecito due to "inconsistencies" in the way the appeals process was handled. A retrial is ordered - meaning the pair will have to face a court verdict for the third time.