Kercher's family 'fully support' prosecutors' appeal
Published 05/10/2011 | 05:00
ITALIAN prosecutors have announced their intention to overturn the acquittal of Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito by taking the case to the country's highest court and have the backing of the family of murder victim Meredith Kercher.
Giuliano Mignini, the chief prosecutor in the case, said he planned to appeal against the decision of the court in Perugia in an attempt to have Ms Knox's 26-year jail sentence reinstated.
But with Ms Knox already back home in the US, legal experts said there was virtually no chance of her being forced to return to an Italian jail after being cleared of murder on Monday.
Expressing disbelief at the verdict, Mr Mignini said: "This trial was done under unacceptable media pressure. The decision was almost already announced. This is not normal."
Before the prosecution can ask for the case to be referred to the Supreme Court in Rome, they must wait for judges in the appeal to release their reasoning for the verdicts, which they must do within 90 days. Prosecutors then have 45 days to file their appeal, which would be heard in around a year's time.
Unlike the appeal hearing, which took 11 months to reconsider the evidence, the Supreme Court would only look at the legal merits of how the case was conducted, and could take as little as a day.
It would have the power to reinstate the original convictions of Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, which could mean Mr Sollecito being taken back to prison to complete the 25-year sentence quashed on Monday.
Prosecutors would then request Ms Knox's extradition from the US under an extradition treaty, but Ms Knox's lawyer, Carlo Della Vedova, said: "We are ready. If that happened we would be ready to defend and support our client's rights. We are not worried."
Meanwhile, Meredith Kercher's family said they were "back to square one" in their hunt for justice, adding they "fully support" the prosecution's attempt to overturn the acquittals with an appeal to the Supreme Court in Rome, describing Monday's verdicts as "very disappointing". (© Daily Telegraph, London)