Family struggles to attend verdict
The family of murdered British student Meredith Kercher are struggling in their attempt to get to Italy for the verdict in the appeal trial, their lawyer has said.
While the family is having difficulty getting plane tickets for the trial's conclusion, Amanda Knox, behind bars for killing the 21-year-old, has a private jet waiting to fly her home to the US if she is freed, Francesco Maresca told a court in Perugia.
Miss Kercher's mother, Arline, sister Stephanie and one of her brothers are due to travel to the Italian city to hear whether the convictions of Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito will be overturned. Mrs Kercher has been unable to attend so far due to ill health while financial constraints have kept her children away, the court heard.
The jury is expected to retire on Monday to consider its verdict on an appeal that has lasted almost a year and Mr Maresca has urged them to "confirm the truth" by upholding the original guilty verdicts.
The claim that Knox will fly out by private jet if her four-year spell in jail is ended next week has not been substantiated but has been used in court to dispel any sense of sympathy the jury might have for her.
Seizing his final chance to ensure her conviction sticks, Mr Maresca poured scorn on Knox's "false memory" in relation to the events of the night the University of Leeds student was stabbed to death.
Apparently referring to inconsistencies in Knox's story during the early stages of the investigation, he said: "You might forget where you left your car, but not the sound of someone screaming."
Another lawyer fighting to keep the University of Washington student behind bars said his client, a barman Knox falsely accused, suffers nightmares as a result of her slander.
Diya "Patrick" Lumumba still wakes each night with bad dreams after Knox pointed the finger at him during her police interrogation in 2007, Carlo Pacelli said. The 24-year-old defendant insisted she did this under pressure from the police, but Mr Lumumba brought a civil action against her.
The semi-naked body of Miss Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found on November 2 2007. In 2009 Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder, which prosecutors claimed was the violent finale to a bungled sex game. She maintains she played no part in it.