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Kercher's brother says Knox should be held in custody

Sibling of murder victim wants U.S. to pledge extradition

03 February, 16:38
Kercher's brother says Knox should be held in custody (ANSA) - London, February 3 - Amanda Knox should be held in prison in the United States while she appeals her Italian murder conviction for the stabbing death in 2007 of Meredith Kercher, the victim's brother said in an interview published Monday.

Lyle Kercher told Britain's Daily Mirror that Knox "should be locked up while the process goes on," and then extradited to Italy to serve her sentence of 28 years and six months.

Knox returned to the United States after her original conviction was struck down on appeal in 2011, and has said she will not come back to Italy.

Last Thursday, an appeals court in Florence re-instated the convictions of Knox and her former boyfriend Italian Raffaele Sollecito, but the Italian court did not request that they be held in custody while all of their appeals are exhausted.

Even if Knox is finally, definitely convicted, it is not clear the United States would agree to extradite the 26-year-old student from Seattle.

That is not fair, said Lyle Kercher, whose family has accepted the prosecutors' argument that Knox and Sollecito were responsible for the murder.

"I don't understand why a convicted criminal is not in custody. America needs to practise what it preaches," said Lyle Kercher, whose sister was a student in the Italian city of Perugia and Knox's flatmate when she was murdered in November 2007.

"We see cases all the time where they're trying to extradite people - Julian Assange, Edward Snowden - (back to the US)," he added.

"You can't be going around saying one thing and doing another. I would be surprised if America doesn't accept it if Italy calls for extradition. It would make a mockery of the word reciprocation".

Sollecito and Knox have both already served a total of four years in prison, including pre-trial custody, after their initial conviction in 2009.

That sentence was subsequently overturned on appeal but Italy's supreme court last year quashed the acquittals over aspects of the evidence it argued had not been properly examined and ordered a repetition of the appeals-level trial.