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Meredith Kercher: Knox and Sollecito ruling due in Italy

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Media captionAmanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were both convicted for the second time last year, as Gavin Lee reports

Italy's top court is expected to decide whether to uphold the convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Sollecito's defence team said on Friday the guilty verdict was riddled with errors.

Former lovers Knox and Sollecito were convicted for the second time in 2014.

They have maintained their innocence throughout and have already served four years in prison.

Sollecito's lawyers presented their case on Friday before judges retired to consider their verdict.

The court will either confirm the guilty verdict or overturn it - by ordering another trial or effectively bringing about an acquittal.

'Expecting justice'

Entering court, one of Sollecito's lawyers, Luca Maori, said the guilty verdicts should be quashed.

"We are just expecting justice. We believe that the verdict of the appeal court of Florence must be totally annulled," he said.

"We think that Raffaele Sollecito must be totally acquitted, but I believe Amanda Knox too must be acquitted."

Profile: Meredith Kercher

Image copyright PA
Image caption Meredith Kercher, 21, was found with her throat cut

Earlier this week, the court heard Knox's lawyer's arguments that her conviction was a grave judicial error.

The verdict was originally due on Wednesday but was delayed to hear Sollecito's defence team.

A definitive conviction would trigger complicated attempts to extradite Knox, who currently lives in Seattle in the US.

Sollecito, from Bari, southern Italy, has remained in the country, and is attending the court hearings.

At-the-scene: Gavin Lee, BBC News, Rome

A fascinating part of the latest developments in this eight-year long case, is the language being deployed by the defence council. Imagery is being evoked, and characteristics of fictional characters are being drawn upon, superimposed even, on the defendants.

Giulia Bongiorno, the defence lawyer for Raffaele Sollecito, spoke for almost two hours ahead of the judgement this morning, as she attempted to pick apart the prosecution.

She described Sollecito as "pure", "innocent", and as a "Forrest Gump" character, an unwitting victim caught up in events around him. He, sitting directly behind his lawyer, gnawed his fingernails throughout.

This is the lawyer who once compared Amanda Knox to Jessica Rabbit, paraphrasing the cartoon's famous line, and arguing that Knox was "not bad... just drawn that way".

Again, rhetoric and carefully-picked imagery is being used to paint a picture of a defendant's simplicity and goodness, in this latest bid to portray his innocence.

The Kercher family's lawyer, Francesco Maresca, expressed hopes on Wednesday that the court's decision would bring an end to the judicial process.

"They hope that this will be the final stage of this judicial process and they will at last... be able to remember Meredith outside of the court room [process]", he said.

Leeds University student Meredith Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, south London, was found dead in the flat she shared with Knox, now 27, in Perugia, central Italy, where both women were studying.

Profile: The two faces of Amanda Knox

Profile: Raffaele Sollecito

Image copyright AP
Image caption Sollecito (centre) attended the previous court hearing on Wednesday
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Amanda Knox, who appeared on American TV last year, could face extradition

Her partially-clothed body was found under a duvet in her bedroom, which had been locked from the inside. Her throat had been cut.

Prosecutors claimed she was killed as part of a bungled sex game. Knox and Sollecito, 30, were convicted of the murder by a trial court in Perugia in 2009.

They were freed in 2011 after an appellate court overturned the convictions.

The Court of Cassation rebuked the appellate judge's reasoning and last year an appeals court in Florence sentenced Knox to 28 years and Sollecito to 25 years.

Rudy Hermann Guede, born in the Ivory Coast, who opted for a fast-track trial, is serving a 16-year sentence for his role in the murder.

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