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Amanda Knox 'caused fatal wound' to Meredith Kercher, says Italian court


An Italian court has said Amanda Knox caused a fatal wound to Meredith Kercher, who was murdered in Perugia, Italy in a house she shared with Knox in November 2007. Judges also said that Knox played a part in a group attack.

The statements were released in 300-word document published by an appeals court in Florence, which explains the court's convictions after it found Knox and her boyfriend at the time of the incident, Raffaele Sollecito, guilty of Kercher's death for a second time in January. The first guilty verdict for the pair in 2009 was overturned in 2011.

The Florence appeals court said the injuries on Kercher's body were indicative of multiple attackers and that they believe both Knox and Sollecito, wielded knives, as another man, Rudy Guede, held the victim down and committed a sexual assault.

But it was Knox who "delivered the only mortal blow", striking Kercher with a kitchen knife, concluded the presiding judge Alessandro Nencini.

The prosecutions argument, which suggested that Kercher was killed in a group sex game that spiralled out of control, is also not considered credible. While it is claimed that Guede - who is already serving a 16-year prison sentence after being convicted of Kercher's death at an earlier trial - could have been motivated by "sexual instinct", the judge said this was incompatible with what was known of Kercher's character.

Instead, the court said domestic tensions had developed between Knox and Kercher, who shared a flat in the Italian town of Perugia while studying in the country as exchange students. This progressed into a violent argument, said the court.

Amanda Knox released a picture of herself on her Twitter page in February 2014, holding a sign which reads in Italian " Siamo Innocenti," which translates as "We are innocent"

The court document reads: "It is a matter of fact that at a certain point in the evening events accelerated. The English girl was attacked by Amanda Marie Knox, by Raffaele Sollecito, who was backing up his girlfriend, and by Rudi Hermann Guede, and constrained within her own room".

Following the publication of the Italian court's reasoning, Knox released a statement on Tuesday, saying the "document is not supported by any credible evidence or logic. There is simply no basis in the record or otherwise for this latest theory".

"I have stated from the beginning of this long ordeal that I am innocent of the accusations against me," said Knox. "I was found innocent by the only court in Italy that retained independent forensic experts to review my case. I want to state again today what I have said throughout this process: I am innocent of the accusation against me, and the recent motivation document does not – and cannot – change the fact of my innocence."

Both Knox and Sollecito are expected to appeal against the latest decision.

Raffaele Sollecito in September 2013 on the Daybreak breakfast show in London

The pair were jailed in 2007 over the murder of British student Kercher, first as suspects and then as convicted killers. Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months, while Sollecito received 25 years, however they were acquitted on appeal in 2011. Knox returned to America, but that ruling was overturned in January.

If Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation, upholds the verdict, officials are expected to begin the lengthy process to extradite Knox from the US.

Out of the trio accused of Kercher's murder, Rudy Guede was the only one to be found guilty and he is currently serving a 16-year prison sentence.

(Images: Rex Features)



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