Saturday 28 March 2015

Italian court acquits Knox and Sollecito of Kercher murder

Italy's top appeals court has overturned the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher.

The decision is the final ruling in the case relating to the 2007 murder.
Ms Kercher, 21, was found dead in a Perugia flat she shared with Ms Knox.
American Ms Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend were found guilty in 2009, then freed in 2011 after the convictions were overturned. They were reinstated by another court last year.

'Full of joy'

The couple had always maintained their innocence and the decision by the Court of Cassation puts an end to their long legal battle.
The reasoning behind the decision will be made public in 90 days.
Ms Knox, 27, said she was "full of joy" after hearing the verdict.
"I'm still absorbing the present moment," she said, speaking outside her mother's house in Seattle, expressing thanks "for the justice I've received and for the support I've had from everyone".
"Meredith was my friend," she added, "she deserved so much in this life."
It has been a seven-year trial, and late on Friday night, after nine hours of discussion, five appeal court judges in Rome's Supreme Court stepped out to deliver a definitive acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, over the murder of Meredith Kercher.
No reason was given. A brief statement was read by the presiding judge - justification will be delivered, in writing, within 90 days, in accordance with Italian law.
Neither defendant was in court to hear the acquittal in person, but there were cheers from both defence teams, who spoke of their surprise - an acquittal being a rarity in Italian Supreme Court hearings.
Lawyer Carlo Della Vedova broke the news to Ms Knox by phone, who cried with happiness, saying she now wants to "recover from this nightmare".
The Kercher family have not been in court for this hearing, but prosecution lawyer Francesco Maresca spoke of their concern that they won't ever learn the truth about what happened to Meredith eight years ago.
Prof Greg Hampikian, a friend of the Knox family who also worked on the DNA evidence for Ms Knox's defence, told BBC Radio 5 live that "everybody is very happy to see this finished, so they can get on with their lives".
"She's trying to start her life as a young woman, so hopefully this will be a really wonderful change and a new day for them and for Raffaele and his folks," he said.
" I hope the Kerchers can find peace as well. It's just been an up and down thing for everyone for so long."

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