Amanda Knox: A lengthy battle for justice
Amanda Knox's conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher concluded only the first stage in a long Italian legal process.
It took more than a year for her trial to come to court after she was jailed on suspicion of the killing, and another year after that for it to produce a guilty verdict.
But the sentencing of the American student dubbed "Foxy Knoxy" to 26 years in prison did not mark the end of the story.
Instead, it merely heralded the next round in the protracted judicial tussle that has been played out over four years in the city of Perugia where Miss Kercher died.
That Knox would launch an appeal was never in doubt.
As her ashen-faced father left court following the original verdict on December 4 2009, he was asked if the family would fight it.
Faced with the prospect of his daughter being held behind bars until her 40s, Curt Knox replied: "Hell, yes".
In Italy, those convicted of crimes are entitled to two appeals, meaning cases can drag on for years without a final resolution.
In Knox's case, the 22 months since her conviction have been spent anxiously waiting and hoping for the verdict to be overturned.
It was, however, almost a year after the trial ended before she and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito - also convicted of the murder - could return to court to begin their appeal.
And, as with the rest of the justice process that began after the Leeds University student's body was found in November 2007, it has been slow going.
But the ordeal has not been without small victories and glimmers of hope for the former lovers and their families and legal teams.
In December, their case was given a boost when they succeeded in their bid for a full review of the forensic evidence used to convict the couple.
Jurors in the original trial had heard prosecution claims that DNA found on a knife allegedly used in the murder, and on the clasp of Miss Kercher's bra, inculpated the pair.
But this evidence was fiercely disputed by the defence, who maintained it was inconclusive and argued it may have been contaminated when analysed.
They appeared to be vindicated when experts told the court in July this year that the forensic scientists involved had made a series of glaring errors.
The genetic evidence was tainted by the use of a dirty glove and failure to wear protective caps, the experts claimed.
Defence lawyers have also argued that the prosecution's case was based on hypotheses and that any motive for the murder was lacking.
Their case was further helped when a key prosecution witness gave conflicting reports during the appeal process about whether he saw Knox and Sollecito near the crime scene on the night of the murder.
In the original trial, Antonio Curatolo, a homeless man now in prison, placed the couple near the house around the time in question.
But when called on to give evidence in the appeal, he confused the dates and was labelled completely unreliable by defence lawyers.
Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast national convicted of the murder and sexual violence in separate proceedings, caused an upset for the defendants when he gave evidence for the prosecution confirming the contents of a letter he wrote to his lawyers last year containing a direct accusation against Knox and Sollecito.
But despite this glitch, the Knox camp could be forgiven for feeling cautiously optimistic as the climax of the appeal loomed.
In one of the final hearings, the court rejected a prosecution request for new DNA tests, deeming them unnecessary.
By this stage, even the prosecutors appeared to be admitting defeat, with one, Manuela Comodi, reportedly saying she could envisage the pair being cleared.
They too have appealed, as they can in Italy, because the sentence fell short of their demand for life in prison.
But by the time the process approached its conclusion, many observers felt it might be game over for them.