Murder victim 'forgotten' in Amanda Knox appeal: sister

3rd October 2011, Comments 0 comments

British murder victim Meredith Kercher has been "forgotten", her sister said on Monday, just hours before a verdict in American Amanda Knox's appeal against her conviction for the killing in Italy.

"Mez has been forgotten in all of this. It's difficult to keep her memory alive. We're here today to find justice," Stephanie Kercher told reporters in a rare media appearance after flying into the town of Perugia for the verdict.

"Without a final ending it would be hard to forgive anyone at this stage," she said at a press conference alongside her mother and brother.

"The brutality of that night, everything Meredith went through, the fear, the terror, she didn't deserve that," she said, wiping away tears.

Kercher, 21, an exchange student from Leeds University who was in Perugia for a year, was found in a pool of blood with dozens of knife wounds and bruises on the floor of her bedroom in the cottage that she shared with Knox.

Investigators also found evidence that she had been sexually assaulted.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and her then Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years over the November 2007 killing. A third person, drug dealer Rudy Guede, who was tried separately, received a 16-year sentence.

Knox and Sollecito are appealing murder and sexual assault convictions.

Prosecutors said the three all took part in a drug-fuelled sexual attack.

Kercher's mother Arline said her daughter and Knox were never really friends because they "moved in different circles."

Asked about the reliability of DNA evidence that helped convict Knox, she said: "It's not just the DNA, it's the overall evidence."

After the jury retired to consider its verdict in the case, Stephanie Kercher said: "As long as they decide today based on the information available to them and not the media hype, then I think justice will be done."

Kercher's brother Lyle meanwhile condemned the focus on Knox.

"It's difficult for our legal team, who are battling against what is essentially a large PR machine," he said.

"It's still very raw. It's almost as if she's gone away on an extended break and hasn't come back yet," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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