An American woman and her former boyfriend have been freed on appeal by a court in Italy, nearly four years after the murder of a British student they always denied committing.
Twenty-four-year-old Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito, who is 27, were jailed in 2009 for the killing of Meredith Kercher.
Knox wept as the judge read out the ruling, freeing the two immediately from 26- and 25-year respective jail terms.
The body of the 21-year-old Leeds University exchange student was discovered in the apartment they shared in Perugia with 40 stab wounds. The prosecution at the time said it was part of a drug fuelled sex-game.
But a forensic science review poured scorn on the police investigation and dismissed claims that damning traces of DNA were found on the kitchen knife identified as the murder weapon.
Amanda’s sister Deanna Knox said after the verdict “We are thankful for the support we have received from all over the world, people who took the time to research the case and could see that Amanda and Raffaele were innocent.”
Sollecito’s father added “Raffaele had nothing to do with the murder of that poor girl Meredith Kercher. I would have liked to have spoken briefly with her parents because they have lost a daughter in such a cruel and terrible way.”
The victim’s family slipped away from the court much more quietly. They have maintained a much lower profile throughout the case than the Knoxs, claiming Meredith has been almost forgotten.