Rome

Erotic game remains theory in Kercher murder

Document explains why Knox, Sollecito acquittal overturned

Erotic game remains theory in Kercher murder

(By Kate Carlisle) Rome, June 18 - The 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher in the city of Perugia could have been the result of an erotic game, Italy's supreme Court of Cassation said on Tuesday in a document explaining the motives for overturning the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for her murder. On March 25, the Cassation scrapped the Perugia appeals court's 2011 decision to quash the 26-year and 25-year sentences Knox and Sollecito were handed respectively at the original trial in 2009. A new appeals trial has been ordered to take place in Florence. The murder of Kercher was one of the most notorious cases in recent Italian history. Knox, now 25, and Sollecito, now 29, both students along with Kercher, were convicted of her murder in 2009 and served nearly four years in prison before their convictions were overturned in 2011. A lawyer in Sollecito's defense team said Tuesday that her client is not afraid of a retrial with Knox for a brutal murder in Perugia in 2007. That's because Sollecito is not guilty of murdering fellow student Meredith Kercher, said lawyer Giulia Bongiorno. The court said it thought that the theory that Kercher was killed during a sex game gone wrong had not been properly studied. "We do not fear any kind of study because this will only bring out the strangeness of...the allegations," said Bongiorno. "It's more or less what we expected," said Bongiorno. In March a top prosecutor argued in Italy's highest appeals court that justice was somehow lost when the murder convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend Sollecito were overturned. The judgement of Perugia's appeals court was "a rare concentration of violations of the law and of a lack of logic and I think (the acquittal decision) must be undone," prosecutor-General Luigi Riello said. Knox and Sollecito are currently not facing arrest, another member of Sollecito's defense, Luca Maori, said after the acquittal was overturned. The Cassation Court ruling "does not revive the conviction at the court of first instance," said Maori. "For Raffaele and Amanda there is no risk of custodial measures being applied," Maori said. Knox, a 25-year-old student at the University of Washington, may face extradition if the conviction is reinstated. The pair were arrested on November 6, 2007, three days after the discovery of British student Kercher's body with her throat slit in the student flat she shared with Knox in the medieval Italian city of Perugia. The appeals court dismissed the prosecution's theory that Kercher was killed in a sex game that went wrong and ruled that DNA evidence backing the 2009 conviction was unsafe. "If there was an erotic game, most certainly Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were not part of it," Bongiorno said Tuesday.

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