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'We waited eight years in vain', say Kerchers

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Amanda Knox, second right, talks to the press, flanked by her her fiance Colin Sutherland, left, mother Edda Mellas and stepfather Chris Mellas, outside her mother's home in Seattle, following the surprise verdict (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

Amanda Knox, second right, talks to the press, flanked by her her fiance Colin Sutherland, left, mother Edda Mellas and stepfather Chris Mellas, outside her mother's home in Seattle, following the surprise verdict (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

REUTERS

The mother of murdered British student Meredith Kercher has said she is "surprised and very shocked" by an Italian court's decision to overturn the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (PA Wire)

The mother of murdered British student Meredith Kercher has said she is "surprised and very shocked" by an Italian court's decision to overturn the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito (PA Wire)

PA

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Amanda Knox, second right, talks to the press, flanked by her her fiance Colin Sutherland, left, mother Edda Mellas and stepfather Chris Mellas, outside her mother's home in Seattle, following the surprise verdict (REUTERS/Jason Redmond)

The mother of the murdered British student Meredith Kercher said yesterday that she still wanted to know who killed her daughter as she spoke of how her family felt let down by "the failure" of the Italian justice system.

Arline Kercher said she did not understand why five judges had acquitted the American Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of the murder of Ms Kercher in 2007.

Mrs Kercher told Italian media that after "eight years of waiting, we now know that we have waited in vain".

Ms Knox (27) and Mr Sollecito (31) had their convictions for the sexual assault and murder of the 21-year-old Leeds University student overturned by Italy's supreme court after judges deliberated for more than 10 hours on Friday.

The former lovers were convicted of the crimes in 2009, then acquitted on appeal in 2011, only for the convictions to be reinstated last year.

Mrs Kercher said she and her family spent the day after the verdict at their home in Coulsdon, Surrey, with "none of us wanting to go out, do anything or speak about what had happened".

She told 'La Repubblica' newspaper: "I am very surprised and in shock. Those two young people have already been condemned twice for Meredith's murder. I didn't expect that they'd be definitively cleared.

"I can't understand the motivation behind the sentence. They've told me we have to wait 90 days until we hear why they made the decision.

"Not that it changes much. Eight years we've been waiting and now we know that we have waited in vain."

Mrs Kercher said the family had wanted to know who had killed their daughter and to see the guilty party punished, but that they had now "returned to square one". "What happened that evening?" she asked. "Who killed her? No one seems to be able to get to the truth."

"Our family has always expressed faith in the Italian justice system," Mrs Kercher said. "Now we feel let down because the crime has not been resolved and it's finished like this with a question mark.

"The verdict is a failure of the Italian justice system."

Mrs Kercher said she had read in the newspapers about Ms Knox's comments following the verdict on Friday, in which she described Ms Kercher as "my friend" who "deserved so much in this life".

Asked whether she believed Ms Knox was a friend of her daughter's, Mrs Kercher said she did not know and that "she didn't want to talk about that girl".

Irish Independent