A court in Italy has begun its deliberations ahead of returning a verdict on the retrial of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of the British 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.
Ms Knox said today that her “heart will be in my mouth” as she waits to hear whether she will be cleared of involvement in the death five years ago.
Ms Kercher, from Coulsdon in south London, was found in November 2007 with her throat cut in the flat she shared with Ms Knox and two Italian women in the city of Perugia.
While Mr Sollecito, 29, appeared with his family to hear the judges’ decision at the court in Florence today, US citizen Ms Knox told the appeals panel she was “afraid” to return to Italy, but professed her innocence.
Speaking via Skype to an Italian TV station today she said: “I will be waiting to receive a phone call from my lawyers and my heart will be in my mouth.
“But the proof is in the facts – it’s clear that there’s no evidence that I was there when (the murder) happened.
“If I am convicted, I understand I will be a fugitive, but I will continue fighting until the end.”
Ms Knox and her former boyfriend Mr Sollecito were acquitted of the crime in 2011 after four years in custody, while a third person who was convicted over Ms Kercher’s death, Rudy Guede, is currently serving a 16-year sentence.
The prosecution has alleged that Ms Kercher died in a sex game, involving Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, who were arrested in the days after the death and convicted of murder in 2009.
Now living in Seattle, Ms Knox wrote a five-page email to the court saying she “didn’t kill”, and this week her lawyer Theodore Simon said: “We wait for the verdict, and remain hopeful. But history being our guide, we know Amanda can be convicted and it is very disconcerting to her and her family. The logical position is that there is no evidence.”
If the former lovers are found guilty, the case could yet go to appeal at Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, where a final decision would be made.
Legal experts say any attempts to extradite Ms Knox would only begin in earnest once a final appeal had been heard, at which point she could still fight being brought to Italy in the US courts.
Regardless of what is decided by judges on the Florence appeals panel later today, the case is expected to continue to make headlines for years to come.
“I don't remember any case which has been as highly publicized and where the countries have taken sides,” said US defence lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who has written about the case.