28 Mar 2013

Murder retrial ordered for US student, Italian boyfriend

11:46 am on 28 March 2013

Italy's highest court has ordered American student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to face a retrial over the 2007 killing of a young British woman.

Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito spent four years in jail for the murder of Meredith Kercher but were freed on appeal in October 2011, largely on the grounds DNA evidence was flawed.

Prosecutors appealed against the decision and called for the convictions to be reinstated, the BBC reports.

Ms Kercher, 21, was in Italy on a year abroad from Leeds University when she was killed in Perugia in November 2007.

She was found dead in her bedroom in the cottage she shared with Miss Knox. Her semi-naked body had more than 40 knife wounds, including a deep gash to the throat.

Prosecutors believed she was killed in a brutal sex game that went wrong.

Ms Knox, now 25, and Mr Sollecito, 29, were originally sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison for killing and sexually assaulting the London woman.

A third person, Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 16 years.

Italian law cannot compel Ms Knox to return from the US for the review. The American student lives in Seattle but, if convicted, Italy could seek her extradition.

Mr Sollecito is studying in Verona and will not have to return to jail while the new appeals process goes ahead.