UK

Amanda Knox cautious about appeal verdict, sister says

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Media captionThe sisters of Amanda Knox say they are "thankful" for the hour-long prison visit

Amanda Knox, the student convicted of killing her British roommate in Italy, is "very cautious" about the verdict of her appeal, her sister has said.

Deanna Knox, 22, who is in Perugia for the verdict, said her sister "doesn't want to get too hopeful" because she "doesn't want to get crushed".

But she said Knox was "happy" to see her family in Italy again.

The BBC's Daniel Sandford said things were becoming tense in Perugia and the decision could come on Saturday.

Along with ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Knox is trying to overturn the guilty verdict over Meredith Kercher's murder.

The pair were convicted of murdering Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old exchange student from Coulsdon, south London, in 2007.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison, while 27-year-old Italian Sollecito was given 25 years.

Speaking to the BBC, Deanna Knox, who had not seen her sister for eight months, said the family were in Perugia to "cheer [Amanda] up and make sure she feels loved".

"[Amanda's] being very cautious about how she feels, because she doesn't want to get too hopeful and then be found guilty again, she doesn't want to be crushed. I think she is staying pretty neutral in that it could go either way, so she is keeping herself safe," she said.

Deanna also told the BBC she was surprised that the Kercher family's lawyer, Francesco Maresca, chose to show pictures of Meredith Kercher's body to the court.

"[He] didn't ask for courtroom to be cleared and they just decided to show these pictures and I think they were going for the shock factor - if that was my sister and my family I would not be happy with the fact he did that.

"He did come back and apologise but I was just really shocked by his actions," she said.

She went on to say if her sister was freed, the first thing she would want to do would be to "hug her and catch up on things".

"And just do a lot more with her and try to spend every moment that I get with her," she added.

Another sister, Ashley, 16, also in Perugia, said it was a "wonderful feeling" to have all four sisters together again.

Her youngest sister, Delaney, 13, said if Knox was freed she "wanted to catch up on the four years we have missed her not being there".

Knox and Sollecito have spent almost a year appealing against their convictions, and a verdict in the case is expected by early October.

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

Guede also denied wrongdoing but his conviction has been upheld on appeal.

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