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Meredith murder pair await ruling

The ex-boyfriend of Amanda Knox has arrived at Italy's highest court where they are expected to learn if their convictions for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher are upheld.

Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old from Coulsdon, Surrey, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death in her bedroom in 2007 while studying in Perugia, Italy.

Her flatmate Knox, a student from Seattle in the US, and Knox's then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito spent four years in jail for the murder but were acquitted on appeal in 2011.

Knox returned to the US before an appeal court threw out the acquittal and reinstated her and Sollecito's guilty verdicts last year.

Italy's Supreme Court in Rome is due to rule today if it finally upholds those convictions, which would put an end to eight years of courtroom twists and turns, or orders another appeal.

Knox, who is now 27, will not appear in court to see if her 28-year sentence is confirmed. Sollecito, 30, who has had his travel documents seized, was mobbed by journalists and camera crews as he made his way into court for final arguments and deliberations. He was sentenced to 25 years.

The Kercher family, who will not be in court today, have said that if Knox's conviction is confirmed they want authorities in the US to extradite her to Italy.

Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca said earlier: "The interest of the family is to arrive to the end of this trial. They want to be able to remember Meredith outside of the court room."

Knox said last year she would become a "fugitive" if convicted and would have to be taken back "kicking and screaming" to Italy.

If her conviction is upheld she could delay going to jail if she were pregnant, according to Italian legal experts.

Last month, she announced her engagement to 27-year-old musician and school friend Colin Sutherland, who wrote to her while she was in jail.

There has also been speculation that political pressure from the US could hamper the extradition process.

Sollecito is reportedly seeking to separate his case from Knox's, with his lawyers pointing out that a partial confession written by the American and later retracted did not mention his presence at the scene of the crime.

If that argument succeeds, the Italian could be given a new trial.

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