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Amanda Knox: murder case timeline

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It has been nearly four years since British student Meredith Kercher was found dead in the Italian town of Perugia, and almost two years since Amanda Knox was found guilty of her murder and sexual assault. With Knox finally cleared of the conviction in an emotional court hearing last night (3 October), we take a look at key events in a case that has captivated the world's media...

Picture credits: Rex Features

  • 2 November, 2007

    21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher (pictured) is found dead with her throat slashed in the flat she shared with Amanda Knox and others in the Italian town of Perugia.

    Police say she died sometime the night before.

  • 4 November, 2007

    Meredith's postmortem results are released. They indicate evidence of sexual activity at some point before Meredith died in her flat in Perugia (pictured).

  • 6 November, 2007

    Officers arrest Knox (pictured), then 20, Knox's then boyfriend, Italian student Raffaele Sollecito, 23, and local barman Patrick Lumumba, 38.

    Knox implicates Lumumba in Meredith's murder following an all-night interrogation by police without consular or legal representation. She later withdraws the statement.

  • 20 November, 2007

    A fourth suspect, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, is arrested in Germany, having left Perugia after Meredith's murder.

    Lumumba is freed due to a lack of evidence.

  • 28 October, 2008

    Following a fast-track trial, Guede is found guilty of Meredith's murder and is sentenced to 30 years in jail.

    The same judge orders Knox and Sollecito to stand trial on charges of Meredith's murder and sexual assault.

  • 16 January, 2009

    The trial of Knox and Sollecito opens in Perugia.

  • 6 February, 2009

    Sollecito takes to the stand. He tells the court he is not violent and has nothing to do with the case.

  • 6 June, 2009

    Meredith's parents take to the stand for the prosecution. Meredith's mother (pictured, with her sister, Stephanie) says she will never get over her daughter's violent death.

  • 12 June, 2009

    Knox testifies in court. Speaking in fluent Italian, she says she was shocked by Meredith's death and that police beat her into making a false statement regarding Lumumba's involvement in the case.

  • 4 December, 2009

    Knox and Sollecito are found guilty of Meredith's murder and sexual assault. Knox is sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito is given 25 years.

  • 5 December, 2009

    Knox's family, including her mother Edda Mellas (pictured), announce they will appeal the murder conviction.

  • 8 November, 2010

    A judge in Perugia orders Knox to stand trial for slander over her evidence about being beaten by police.

  • 24 November, 2010

    Knox and Sollecito return to court for the start of their appeal.

  • 11 December, 2010

    Knox breaks down in tears in court as she insists she is innocent.

  • 16 December, 2010

    Italy's highest court upholds Guede's conviction for the murder of Meredith, and his subsequent sentence (earlier cut to 16 years).

  • 19 December, 2010

    Court authorises review of key DNA evidence used to convict Knox and Sollecito by an independent panel.

  • 27 June, 2011

    Guede takes to the stand for the prosecution and confirms a letter he wrote to lawyers in 2010, in which he accused both Knox and Sollecito of murder.

  • 9 June, 2011

    An independent review of DNA evidence used to convict Knox and Sollecito finds much of it is unreliable and flawed.

  • 7 September, 2011

    Appeal court rejects prosecution request for new DNA tests, saying it would be unnecessary.

  • 3 October, 2011

    Knox and Sollecito are acquited of murder and sexual assault, as a lead appeal judge rules that the evidence used to convict them was not reliable.

    Knox broke down in tears as the judgement was announced. Speaking outside court, her sister Deanna said, "We're thankful Amanda's nightmare is over. She's suffered four years for a crime she didn't commit."

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