Conviction upheld in Meredith case


Rudy Hermann Guede, centre, is escorted by police after the hearing (AP)

Italy’s highest criminal court has upheld the conviction and 16-year prison sentence of an Ivory Coast man for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher.

The British student was found stabbed in the neck and lying in a pool of blood in the room of a flat she shared with American student Amanda Knox of Seattle, who was convicted in a separate trial of the murder and sentenced to 26 years.

Knox’s appeal trial recently began in Perugia, a town in Umbria famed for its university with a large population of foreign students.

Co-defendant in that appeal is her former boyfriend, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, who was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder.

Rudy Hermann Guede, from the Ivory Coast, Knox and Sollecito have each denied killing Kercher.

A lawyer for the Kercher family, who attended Thursday’s session, expressed “satisfaction for closing the case” against Guede.

When American Knox appeared in court last week at her appeal trial, she broke down in tears while making an emotional speech to the court. She called herself the innocent victim of an “enormous” mistake and denied being the “dangerous, diabolical, jealous, uncaring, violent” person described by the prosecution.

She declared that Sollecito was also wrongly convicted.

At the appeal trial, defence lawyers for Knox and Sollecito are seeking a full review on the forensic evidence, including disputed DNA evidence that was found on a knife allegedly used in the murder and on the clasp of Kercher’s bra.

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