Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have had their convictions for the 2007 murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, south London, overturned.

Here the BBC has compiled the key dates in the murder investigation and subsequent criminal trials after Miss Kercher’s death in Perugia, Italy.

  • 1 November 2007

    British student killed

    Meredith Kercher, 21, is killed at her apartment in Perugia, Italy. Italian police discover the British student with her throat cut a day later and launch a murder investigation. Subsequent tests reveal evidence of sexual activity before her death.
  • 5 November 2007

    Kercher family tribute

    Miss Kercher’s family describe their devastation at her loss. “As anyone who had been lucky enough to have known her would testify, she was one of the most beautiful, intelligent, witty and caring people you could wish to meet,” a statement said.
  • 6 November 2007

    Three quizzed over killing

    Miss Kercher’s American housemate Amanda Knox, 20, is arrested, along with her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 23, and barman Patrick Diya Lumumba, a 38-year-old Congolese national. They are held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit manslaughter and sexual violence.
  • 7 November 2007

    Flatmate ‘heard scream’

    Police say Knox has told them that she covered her ears as Miss Kercher screamed in her bedroom, but also that the American student keeps changing her story. Days later, the three suspects are remanded in custody for up to a year by a judge. They deny any involvement in the killing.
  • 15 November 2007

    ‘Knox DNA on knife’

    Italian police say DNA belonging to Knox has been found on a kitchen knife recovered from Sollecito. They say that Knox’s DNA was discovered near the handle while Miss Kercher’s was on the blade.
  • 19 November 2007

    Another suspect named

    Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, an Ivory Coast national, is named as a suspect. He is arrested a day later in the German city of Mainz for travelling on a train without a ticket. Meanwhile, barman Mr Lumumba is released without charge, with police saying he is no longer a suspect.
  • 21 November 2007

    Suspect in German court

    Guede appears in court in Germany and denies any involvement. On 6 December he is extradited to Italy to face murder charges after police claim his bloody fingerprints were discovered on Miss Kercher’s pillow.
  • 14 December 2007

    Victim’s funeral held

    Hundreds of mourners attend Miss Kercher’s funeral in Croydon, south London. Her sister Stephanie reads a tribute poem she has composed. Among the floral tributes at the church is a small bouquet with a card marked “The city of Perugia”.
  • 11 July 2008

    Call for murder charge

    Italian prosecutors say the three suspects should be charged with murder. They continue to maintain their innocence. Guede later requests a separate, fast-track trial.
  • 28 October 2008

    Guede gets 30 years

    Guede is sentenced to 30 years in prison after being convicted of Miss Kercher’s murder following a separate, fast-track trial. The Kercher family say they are “satisfied” with the verdict. His sentence is later halved on appeal. Judge Paolo Micheli also rules that Sollecito and Knox should face a murder trial.
  • January-April 2009

    Second murder trial begins

    The trial of Knox and Sollecito gets under way in Perugia and the court hears from a range of witnesses. Sollecito tells the jury he would find it “hard to kill a fly” but an officer testifies that the Italian was “a fan of arms and knives” – a remark Sollecito made when he was quizzed by police. The jury also visits the murder scene.
  • 6 June 2009

    Victim’s mother in court

    Giving evidence in court as part of Knox and Sollecito’s trial, Miss Kercher’s mother Arline says she will never get over the shock at the brutality of her daughter’s death. The 63-year-old says she desperately misses her 21-year-old daughter.
  • 12 June 2009

    Police beat me, claims Knox

    Testifying in court, Knox claims she was beaten by police during the initial interrogation and said officers had called her a “stupid liar”. She says she wrongly named her former boss Patrick Lumumba as a suspect under police pressure.
  • 21 November 2009

    Prosecutors seek life term

    Italian prosecutors urge the jury to convict Knox and Sollecito on charges of murder and sexual violence. They ask for life sentences for the pair. Knox addresses the court in Italian, saying the accusations against her are “pure fantasy”.
  • 3 December 2009

    Knox maintains innocence

    Knox tells the court she does not want to be branded a killer. Addressing the jury, she says: “I’m afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced on to my skin.” She adds that she is “confused, sad, frustrated” about the length of time she has been in jail.
  • 4 December 2009

    Pair convicted of murder

    Knox and Sollecito are found guilty of murder and sexual violence. Knox, now 22, bows her head and bursts into tears as she is jailed for 26 years while Sollecito, now 25, looks impassive. A day later Knox’s family say she will appeal.
  • 1 June 2010

    Knox accused of slander

    Knox appears in court for a preliminary hearing accused of slander over her claims she was beaten by police while under interrogation. If she is found guilty, any additional jail term would be added to her existing 26-year sentence.
  • 24 November 2010

    Appeals get under way

    Knox and Sollecito’s appeals begin. The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy says Amanda Knox looks “stressed” while Raffaele Sollecito looks “more relaxed” as they arrive in court. The case is adjourned to 11 December.
  • 11 December 2010

    Knox’s emotional plea

    Knox makes an emotional plea for mercy in court. Reading in Italian from handwritten notes, she describes her conviction as an “enormous mistake” and says her life has been left “broken” by three years in jail.
  • 18 December 2010

    Review of evidence granted

    Knox is granted a review of the forensic evidence used to convict her, including the disputed DNA evidence found on a knife and on the clasp of Miss Kercher’s bra.
  • 15 February 2011

    Trial for Knox parents

    Knox’s parents, who live in Seattle, are ordered to stand trial in Italy for libelling police after claiming their daughter was abused by police during the murder investigation.
  • 21 February 2011

    Film sparks controversy

    A film about the murder – entitled Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy and starring Heroes actress Hayden Panettiere – is shown in the US. Knox later tries to ban its wider release and describes it as an “invasion of my life”.
  • 18 June 2011

    ‘Knox is innocent’

    Convicted child murderer Mario Alessi tells the appeal court that Guede confided to him in jail that Knox and Sollecito were innocent, and that an unnamed accomplice killed Miss Kercher. Guede denies the claims.
  • 25 July 2011

    DNA evidence ‘contaminated’

    Experts tell the appeal court that DNA evidence used to convict Knox and Sollecito may have been contaminated and fell short of international standards, with police failing to wear the correct protective equipment. Italian prosecutors later deny the claims.
  • 7 September 2011

    DNA test request rejected

    An appeal court judge rejects prosecutors’ requests for new tests on DNA evidence used to convict Knox. Judge Claudio Pratillo Hellmann says more tests are unnecessary as genetic evidence has already been discussed at length.
  • 23 September 2011


    Final arguments at the appeal court begin. Italian prosecutors at the appeal court in Perugia urge the jury to remember Miss Kercher’s family. In a closing speech, they said an “obsessive” media campaign to free Knox had distracted jurors.
  • 3 October 2011

    Knox and Sollecito freed

    The jury acquits Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of Meredith Kercher’s murder. There were cheers in the Perugia courtroom as the verdict was read out. Miss Knox was in floods of tears while Mr Sollecito looked stunned. Earlier, Miss Knox addressed the courtfor the first time. Speaking in Italian, she said “I am not who they say I am” while her ex-boyfriend said he was in a “nightmare” from which he had never woken.

    Original Article [BBC]