Perugia

Retrial for Kercher murder 'raises family's hopes'

'Only Knox, Sollecito, Guede know what happened' lawyer says

Retrial for Kercher murder 'raises family's hopes'

Perugia, June 26 - The decision of Italy's supreme Court of Cassation to order a new appeals trial into the 2007 murder of student Meredith Kercher has raised her parents' hope to finally discover who killed her, Perugia prosecutor Giancarlo Costagliola told a joint press conference on Wednesday with his boss, prosecutor-general Giovanni Galati. Discussing the case with reporters, Galati also spoke about an "unworthy soap opera" around the murder. In March this year, Italy's highest appeals court scrapped the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Kercher's murder and ordered a new appeals trial which will be held in Florence as soon as this fall. Knox, now 25, and Sollecito, now 29, both students along with Kercher, were convicted of her murder in 2009 and served almost four years in prison before their convictions were overturned in 2011. Only one man, Rudy Guede, has been convicted of the slaying in a separate proceeding and is serving a 16-year sentence. "Only Rudy Guede, Amanda and Raffaele can tell us what really happened on the night of November 1, 2007 in via della Pergola" where the British student was murdered, Galati said. "The Court of Cassation has been careful not to evaluate specific issues of the ruling" of the appeals court which acquitted the two. The supreme court must rule on a trial's legitimacy but not on merit. In a document explaining its motives for overturning the acquittal of Knox and Sollecito issued earlier this month, the Cassation said the death could have been the result of an erotic game. The high court also said key issues ranging from the exact time of death to the actions of defendants needed to be answered in a new trial. Judges questioned the timing of Kercher's death - three women in the area said they heard a terrible scream between 11:00 pm and 11:30 pm but other witness said it was much earlier. And they wondered if the murder was the work of one or more people. In addition, they cited testimony that Knox bought detergent shortly after Kercher's murder although the US student claimed she was at Sollecito's house. During the press conference on Wednesday, Costagliola, the prosecutor in the appeals trial, criticized the appeals court for "failing to take into account what judges of first instance wrote when they sentenced Amanda and Raffaele to 26 and 25 years in jail". "The Florentine court will bring justice and in case of a conviction, could change the jail term," said Costagliola, adding that the pair could once again be acquitted "but based on different facts".

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