Everything we know on Leeds student Meredith Kercher murder case as Amanda Knox appears in court

The murder of University of Leeds exchange student Meredith Kercher is back in the headlines. Here is the background to the case.

Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:53 am
Updated Thursday, 24th January 2019, 11:54 am
Meredith Kercher.

Who was Meredith Kercher?

Ms Kercher, originally from Surrey, died while spending a year in Italy as part of her European Studies degree at the University of Leeds. She was 21.

How did she die?

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Amanda Knox.

Ms Kercher’s body was found by police in her flat in the Italian city of Perugia on November 2, 2007. Her throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.

Who is Amanda Knox?

Ms Knox was Ms Kercher’s flatmate and a student at the time of the murder. Originally from Seattle, she was aged 20 in 2007.

What were the initial legal proceedings?

Raffaele Sollecito.

Ms Knox and her then boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested and later convicted of murder and sexual assault in 2009.

The couple maintained their innocence, insisting that they had spent the evening together at Mr Sollecito’s home watching a film and smoking marijuana.

What were the next developments in the case?

Rudy Hermann Guede.

The Perugia Court of Appeal acquitted the pair in 2011 of the most serious charges against them.

After three years in custody, Ms Knox was released and left Italy for the United States.

The Court of Cassation then quashed her acquittal in 2013 and referred the case back to the Assize Court of Appeal.

That court re-sentenced her to more than 28 years in prison for complicity in sexual assault and murder.

Ms Knox launched another appeal, and in 2015 she and Mr Sollecito were acquitted of sexual assault and murder by Italy’s highest court.

What’s the latest news?

European judges have ruled in favour of Ms Knox’s appeal over her remaining conviction – for malicious accusation – in relation to the murder.

Italian police alleged Ms Knox made false accusations against Congolese bar owner Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, knowing him to be innocent and in order to distract investigators away from her own responsibility.

Ms Knox, now 31, appealed on the grounds she was denied access to a lawyer and an independent interpreter, was slapped on the head and subjected to psychological pressure by Italian police.

The ECHR today ruled that there had been a violation of Ms Knox’s rights when her claims of ill-treatment in police custody were not investigated.

What happens now?

The Italian government has been ordered to pay Ms Knox 10,400 euro (£9,000) in damages and 8,000 euro (£7,000) for costs and expenses.

Who killed Meredith Kercher?

Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivorian, is serving a 16-year sentence for Ms Kercher’s murder.