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Judges consider Knox murder case, verdict after 17:00

Sollecito will be in court for reading of sentence

30 January, 10:51
Judges consider Knox murder case, verdict after 17:00 (ANSA) - Florence, January 30 - Judges in a Florence court on Thursday gathered to decide whether American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito are guilty of the 2007 murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher in Perugia.

The head of the panel of judges said the verdict will not be announced until after 17:00 Italian time.

Prosecutors have requested a 26-year prison term for Sollecito and 30 years for Knox. Thursday's decision will be the fourth ruling by an Italian court on the case. Both Sollecito and Knox served a total of four years in prison, including pre-trial custody, after they were initially convicted in 2009.

Those convictions were overturned on appeal but the supreme court last year quashed the acquittals and ordered a repetition of the appeals-level trial.

Knox is set to learn of her fate from her Seattle home, but Sollecito has said he will be in court when the verdict is read out.

"Now I'm going, but I'll be back later," Sollecito said after the judges retired to consider their decision.

Thursday's ruling is unlikely to be the final word as both the prosecution and the defence have the right to appeal to the supreme Court of Cassation afterwards.

A third person Ivorian Rudy Guede, whose DNA was found inside Kercher and all over the flat, was convicted in a separate fast-track trial and handed a definitive sentence of 16 years in jail.