Knox and Sollecito face Kercher murder verdict

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(L-R) Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox and Meredith Kercher. Photos: (L-R) Mario Laporta/AFP, Tiziana Fabi/AFP and TJMK
09:36 CET+01:00
US student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito face a fresh verdict on Thursday in their retrial for the murder and sexual assault of British student Meredith Kercher. The Local brings you live updates.

This live blog is now closed. More details about the outcome of the trial can be found here.

9.55pm VERDICT: Knox and Sollecito guilty of Kercher murder

The court sentenced Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years.

9.50pm Bell rung in court, verdict expected imminently.

9.40pm The jury has now been deliberating for more than 11 hours. It has been almost six years and three months since Meredith Kercher was murdered in Perugia.

9.25pm A packed courtroom in Florence, but still no verdict.

9.00pm Lyle and Stephanie Kercher, along with Pierluigi Puglia (R) from the British Embassy in Rome, sitting in the Florence courtroom.

Screenshot: Corriere TV

8.55pm Lyle and Stephanie Kercher, brother and sister of victim Meredith Kercher, have arrived in the Florence courtroom with a representative from the British Embassy in Rome.

8.40pm Waiting for the verdict, Meredith Kercher's brother said whatever the outcome it will not bring closure for his family.

"The anxiety builds as we get nearer the time. It's really hard to say what we expect the verdict to be," said Lyle Kercher.

"We are not going to get closure today, so there won't be any celebration on our part, but it's hopefully a step towards reaching a conclusion," he said.

"To lose someone you love so dearly is hard enough, especially in the way she died, but that has been compounded by the fact that it has gone on for six years and three months."

8.10pm A brief visit from a court clerk to announce further delay.

The verdict is now expected between 9.00pm and 9.30pm; more than four hours after everyone was asked to be present in court.

8.05pm The view from the courtroom now:

Screenshot: Corriere TV

7.25pm How is the Kercher family feeling?

"They are very tired of the ongoing judicial process and hope that they will get justice," their lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said earlier today.

SEE ALSO: Kerchers seek clarity six years after murder

7.10pm After appearing at the Florence court this morning, Raffaele Sollecito has decided not to return to hear the verdict this evening.

Sollecito is not obliged to attend under Italian law and earlier today his father, Francesco Sollecito, said that his son's earlier appearance showed "courage and respect for the court".

6.00pm Another delay. The court clerk has now said the verdict will not likely come before 8.00pm, although asked everyone to be back in the courtroom at 7.00pm.

5.55pm The scene in the Florence courtroom:

Screenshot: Corriere TV

5.30pm If found guilty how long could Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito spend in prison? 

When found guilty in 2009, Knox received a 26-year sentence while Sollecito was ordered to serve 25 years in prison. They were acquitted in 2011 and released.

in November 2013, during the current trial, prosecutors requested a 30-year prison term for Knox and 26 years for Sollecito. The harsher penalty requested for Knox is because in 2007 she lied and claimed barman Patrick Lumumba had murdered Meredith Kercher.

READ MORE: Prosecutors seek 30-year sentence for Knox

4.55pm The verdict will not not come until after 6.00pm, a court clerk in Florence has said.

4.45pm There has been a lot of speculation over whether Amanda Knox could be extradited from the US to Italy if she is found guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher.

We spoke to a couple of Rome lawyers, who said that even if Knox is found guilty today, no extradition proceedings will be launched just yet because she would first be able to appeal.

This is because under Italian law a conviction is not definite until all appeals have been exhausted, a process which could take many more months and possibly years.

3.40pm Back in the courtroom, Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer is sitting in the front row. In November she said Sollecito's "life will be lived outside of Italy" whatever the verdict.

3.30pm The verdict to be announced later today comes more than four years after Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were first found guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher.

In December 2009 Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, while Sollecito received a 25-year sentence for the crime. Their appeal for this conviction got underway on November 24th 2010. Here's what's happened since then:


  • December 18th: The appeals court orders a review of key forensic evidence. Two independent experts are appointed to re-examine DNA traces on the presumed murder weapon - a kitchen knife - and on Kercher's bra strap.


  • July 25th: Independent experts tell the court the DNA evidence is likely to have been contaminated due to poor police practices - including the use of dirty gloves and collecting evidence more than a month after the murder.
  • October 3rd: The Perugia court acquits Knox, who breaks down and pleads for mercy in a dramatic end to her four-year legal battle, as well as Sollecito. Knox returns immediately to the United States.


  • February 14th: Italian prosecutors lodge an appeal against the acquittal saying it contains "omissions and many mistakes".


  • March 26th: Italy's highest court in Rome overturns the appeal verdict and rules that Knox and Sollecito must face a retrial in Florence, accusing the appeal judge who freed them of "a rare mix of violation of the law and illogicality" and having "lost his way".
  • September 20th: The retrial begins, with Knox tried in absentia.

SEE ALSO: Kerchers 'still have faith in Italian justice system'

2.40pm Also at the court on Thursday morning was Patrick Lumumba, the Congolese barman accused by Amanda Knox of the murder. Lumumba was arrested in November 2007 and released two weeks later.

Knox argued that she made the false accusation under pressure, while prosecutors say her original statement is evidence she was trying to cover something up.

"If Amanda Knox is innocent as she claims, she should come to the court for the verdict. I think she's running away," Lumumba said earlier today.

Story continues below…

Patrick Lumumba at the Florence court today. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

1.00pm What's it like to report from one of the biggest trials of the year? Not very glamorous, according to this photo from a journalist outside the Florence court:

12.45pm While journalists, the jury and judges presumably tuck into their Italian lunches, here's more background on how the case was handled in 2008 and 2009:

  • October 28th 2008: Rudy Guede is sentenced to 30 years in jail for the murder and sexual assault of Meredith Kercher following a fast-track trial. His sentence is later reduced to 16 years on appeal after he apologized to the Kercher family.
  • January 16th 2009: Trial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito begins to massive media attention.
  • December 5th 2009: Knox is found guilty and sentenced to 26 years in prison. She shouts "No! No!" in the courtroom and breaks into sobs. Sollecito gets 25 years.

12.05pm Speaking in court this morning Carlo Dalla Vedova, Amanda Knox's lawyer, said his client's innocence was "rock-solid". 

"The knowledge of Amanda's innocence is now rock-solid and it allows us to await the verdict with serenity," he said, adding: "It is not possible to convict someone because they are considered 'probably' guilty."

READ MORE: Knox's innocence is 'rock solid': lawyer

11.20am While the jury deliberates, let's remind ourselves what happened in 2007 when Meredith Kercher was murdered:

  • November 2nd: The body of Meredith Kercher, who was in Perugia on an exchange programme from the UK's Leeds University, is found by police half-naked in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck in the cottage she shared with Amanda Knox.
  • November 6th: Police arrest Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, after Knox says she was in the house while Lumumba committed the murder. She later said she made the statement under duress during police questioning.
  • November 20th: Police in Germany arrest Ivorian immigrant Rudy Guede, who had fled Perugia, after DNA evidence is found linking him to the murder. He is extradited to Italy. Lumumba is released and fully exonerated.

10.14am The jury has retired to consider the verdict, which is expected this evening:

10.00am Amanda Knox has sent a letter to Meredith Kercher's family, which has remained unopened, Corriere della Sera reported today. "We don't yet feel the need to speak to her," the victim's sister Stephanie Kercher was quoted as saying.

9.39am Raffaele Sollecito's father tells journalists why he and his family have come to Florence today:

9.30am As court proceedings get underway, read what the Kercher family have to say about the Italian justice system.

9.03am Raffaele Sollecito has arrived in court:

8.44am Amanda Knox's lawyer Luciano Ghirga says he is feeling calm:

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