UK

Murdered student Meredith Kercher 'forgotten'

Meredith Kercher
Image caption Meredith Kercher's family described her as loving, kind and caring

Meredith Kercher has been "completely forgotten" in the four years since she was murdered on a study year abroad in Italy, her grieving sister has said.

Stephanie Kercher, 21, told Italian TV show Porta a Porta all the focus was on Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, who were convicted of the 2007 killing.

Ms Kercher also said she was scared of forgetting her "kind, caring" sister.

The Kercher family are in Italy ahead of an appeal verdict against Knox's and Sollecito's convictions.

The former lovers were convicted in 2009 of murdering Miss Kercher in her bedroom after a bungled sex game.

Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, south London, had been sharing a flat with Knox in the central Italian city of Perugia during an exchange year abroad from Leeds University.

In a rare interview, Stephanie Kercher told the programme: "In these four years, Meredith has been completely forgotten.

"But we need to find justice for her, we need to find the truth for her.

"There's not much of Meredith in the media. There aren't photos of her in the media. The focus has completely moved away from Meredith to Amanda and Raffaele.

"And Meredith was so lovely - an intelligent, kind, caring person."

She went on to say: "I'm scared of forgetting what she looked like.

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Media captionThe BBC's Daniel Sandford spoke to Amanda Knox's mother Edda Mellas who said her daughter and Raffaele Sollecito were also victims

"I'm scared of forgetting how she was to cuddle, or what her hands were like, or anything really."

Their mother, Arline Kercher, said her daughter, who was 21 when she died, had been a "very loving child, a very sweet girl".

"She was always ready to help you. I will never, ever forget her."

The BBC's Daniel Sandford, who is in Perguia, asked Knox's mother about the Kercher family's remarks.

Edda Mellas told him she agreed that Miss Kercher had been forgotten but, while she was the first victim, her daughter Amanda and Raffaele Sollecito were the second victims.

US student Knox, 24, and Italian Sollecito, 26, have spent almost a year appealing against their convictions and are expected to learn by early October whether they will be freed.

Knox, dressed in a pink top, was in court on Friday to hear the closing arguments in the appeal hearing.

Prosecutors began by saying "all clues converge toward the only possible result of finding the defendants guilty".

Giancarlo Costagliola urged the jury to bear in mind Miss Kercher's family and denounced the "obsessive media campaign" that "makes everyone feel like the parents" of Knox and Sollecito.

"As you make your decision, I wish that you jurors feel a little bit like the parents of Meredith Kercher, a serious, studious girl whose life was taken by these two kids from good families," he told a packed courtroom.

Knox's case has centred on a review of DNA evidence which indicated it was flawed.

However, Mr Costagliola challenged the results of the independent review and defended the findings of the original investigation.

Knox is serving a 26-year sentence for Miss Kercher's murder, while Sollecito is serving 25 years. Both deny any wrongdoing.

Rudy Guede, 21, was also convicted of Miss Kercher's murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year term.

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