Italy’s highest court has ordered a retrial for American student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito over the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007.
Prosecutors have argued that there were flaws in the 2011 appeal, which resulted in Knox and Sollecito being acquitted and released from prison.
They had served four years for the assault and murder of British student Kercher, before being freed due to inaccuracies in the DNA evidence.
The pair were originally sentenced to 25 and 26 years, in a trial that attracted attention all over the world.
Kercher was found dead in the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, in Italy’s Umbria region. Prosecutors believe she was killed during a drug-fuelled sex game that went wrong.
On Monday the prosecutors urged judges to “make sure the final curtain does not drop on this shocking and dire crime”.
Neither of the defendants appeared in court during the proceedings. Reports say it is likely that the retrial will take place in Knox’s absence because it is unlikely that the US will extradite her. After her aqcuittal she moved back to her family home near Seattle, while Sollecito is thought to have remained in his native Italy.
Knox issued the following statement: “It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution’s theory of my involvement in Meredith’s murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair.
“The prosecution responsible for the many discrepancies in their work must be made to answer for them, for Raffaele’s sake, my sake and most especially for the sake of Meredith’s family. Our hearts go out to them. No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity.”
Also involved in the case was Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast national who admitted he was at the house at the time, but denied murder. He was convicted separately of sexually assaulting and stabbing Kercher and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.