Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito convictions reinstated and sentences increased
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Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have had their convictions for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher reinstated in an Italian court.
The verdict was handed down by the court of appeal in Florence and is the latest twist of the knife in 6 years of torment for the Kercher family. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 of murdering the British student who Knox had shared a flat with in Perugia (Italy). Evidence at the scene pointed to more than one perpetrator, and Knox was arrested alongside her boyfriend Sollecito and Rudy Guede who was forensically implicated and is still in prison for sexual assault and murder. The theory of the case rested on a lurid conspiracy between the three.
Knox, who is both American and attractive – which helped attract the media spotlight - had her conviction annulled in 2011 alongside Sollecito, but it was reinstated today by the Florentine court who accused the 2011 court of "numerous deficiencies, contradictions and manifest lack of logic".
Judge Alessandro Nencini sentence Knox to 28 years and six months in jail – more than her original conviction – while Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years. Lawyers for both announced their intention to appeal to Italy’s highest appeal court and the two are likely to remain free, not least Knox who returned to the US after 4 years in prison and would resist any attempt at extradition.
Kercher’s brother said: "It's hard to sort of feel anything at the moment because we know realistically it's going to go to a further appeal by the defendants, probably some time in spring, so I think we were already prepared for that before this evening's decision," he added.
Amanda Knox released her own statement that was unmistakeably tinged with arrogance
"Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution."
The court will publish a full judgement within 90 days.