Home World Europe News Raffaele Sollecito appears in Florence court for Meredith Kercher murder retrial

Raffaele Sollecito appears in Florence court for Meredith Kercher murder retrial

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Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted and later cleared of killing British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007, has appeared in court in Florence, Italy.

The Italian is due to make a statement over the death of Amanda Knox’s room-mate Meredith Kercher.

Raffaele Sollecito and his then-girlfriend, Amanda Knox, were convicted in 2009 of murder but acquitted on appeal in 2011.

However, in March Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittals, and ordered a new appeal.

Amanda Knox is now in the US and is not expected to attend court.

“He has come to show that he is not running away,” Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer, Luca Maori, told reporters before the start of the hearing.

The new appeal was ordered after the prosecution took the case to the Supreme Court.

Raffaele Sollecito is due to make a statement over the death of Amanda Knox’s room-mate Meredith Kercher

Raffaele Sollecito is due to make a statement over the death of Amanda Knox’s room-mate Meredith Kercher

The court strongly criticized the way the appeals court had dismissed important DNA evidence, ordering the whole process to begin all over again.

One of the key pieces of forensic evidence that helped to convict the pair in the first place was a kitchen knife found in Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen, which was said to have Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade.

But the DNA sample was tiny, and the appeal judge thought the evidence was unreliable, so he rejected a forensic scientist’s suggestion to have it tested again.

Tuesday’s hearing will focus on a minute trace of DNA found on the murder weapon but not previously tested.

Meredith Kerceher’s family was not in court. But their lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said the evidence was clear for all to see.

“I think that this court has all the elements to take its decision. Another court has determined why that knife was in Knox’s hands,” said Francesco Maresca.

Both Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox spent four years in prison before their acquittal, and have always insisted they are innocent.

Another man – Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast – was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 16 years for the killing.

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