Meredith Kercher Family Hints Amanda Knox Not Welcome at Grave

Image: Meredith Kercher Family Hints Amanda Knox Not Welcome at Grave Stephanie Kercher, sister, right, and John Kercher, father of slain British student Meredith Kercher.

Tuesday, 01 Oct 2013 09:12 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Amanda Knox's retrial opened in Italy Monday, a day after the family of victim Meredith Kercher issued a veiled request for the American college student to stay away from their daughter's grave.

Knox is accused of murdering Kercher in 2007, when the pair roomed together while they were studying abroad in Perugia, Italy. Knox's boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, was also implicated in the killing.

"It took us as a family nearly five years to even begin to feel ready to lay Mez to rest and it is still extremely painful now," read a statement from Meredith Kercher's older sister Stephanie obtained by The Telegraph. "However, she now has a place near to us that we and her friends can visit to take flowers and spend time… Her grave is now her safe place to sleep in peace and be with us and we hope that is respected by all."

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The statement is seemingly a response to a comment Knox made in an interview with ITV's Daybreak last week.

"The greatest closure would be for the Kerchers to take me to Meredith's grave," she said.

Knox, an American college student, and Sollecito were convicted of Kercher's murder in 2009 and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively.

In 2011, the pair was freed after serving four years in an Italian prison when an appeals court threw out their convictions and criticized the prosecution's handling of evidence.

But in March Italy's Court of Cassation threw out their acquittals and ordered a new trial, which kicked off Monday in Florence.

Knox, who is now 26 and has since returned home to Seattle and resumed her studies at the University of Washington, has refused to return to Italy for the retrial.

"I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't re-live that," she told NBC's "Today" show last month.

Kercher's family has long held that Knox and Sollecito are guilty of killing the British student.

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Related stories:

Amanda Knox: 'Everything Is at Stake' in Roommate Murder Retrial

Raffaele Sollecito on Amanda Knox: 'She Thinks That I'm a Kind of Hero'

Victim in Amanda Knox Case — Meredith Kercher — Killed in 'Erotic' Game  

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