Former lovers go on trial for Meredith murder

The long-awaited trial of two former lovers charged with murdering British student Meredith Kercher got under way in Italy today.

Amanda Knox, 21, from Seattle and Italian Raffaele Sollecito, 24, appeared in front of an eight-member jury in a courthouse in the university town of Perugia.

They are accused of murdering the 21-year-old Leeds University student in a bungled sex game in November 2007.

Both defendants deny wrongdoing.

A large number of journalists from the national and international press descended on the picturesque Umbrian town for the beginning of the trial, Italian news agency Ansa reported.

The judge is expected to decide today whether to allow television cameras into the court and whether the trial should be open or held behind closed doors.

A third person, Rudy Hermann Guede, 21, from the Ivory Coast, was sentenced to 30 years in prison in October 2008 after being convicted of the murder in a fast-track trial.

Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was on her year abroad in the hilltop town when she was found dead in her bedroom on November 2, 2007.

She was semi-naked and her throat had been slit.