07/11/2007

Three Still Held Over Meredith Murder

Italian police are continuing to question three people in connection with the death of British student Meredith Kercher.

Amanda Knox, a 20-year-old American student who was also Meredith's room-mate, her 24-year-old Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito and 37-year-old Congolese man Patrick Diya Lumumba were all arrested on Tuesday.

All three are being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit manslaughter and conspiracy to commit sexual violence.

Meredith, 21, from Coulsdon in south London, was found in the bedroom of her apartment in Perugia on Friday. She was partially clothed and her throat had been cut.

Police believed that she was murdered as she tried to resist a violent sexual attack.

On Wednesday, Italian police were reported to have claimed that Miss Knox told them that she covered her ears to block out Meredith's screams.

In the alleged partial confession, Miss Knox is said to have told police that she was in the kitchen of the apartment she shared with Meredith while Mr Lumumba was in Meredith's room. It has been reported that she said that she covered her ears to block the sound of screaming and didn't remember anything after that, adding that she was "very confused".

On Tuesday, Arturo De Felice, Perugia's police chief, told a new conference that Meredith had died while fighting off a sexual attack. He said that she was a "victim and nothing more".

Medical examiner Luca Lalli said that there was evidence that sexual activity had taken place before Meredith died, but did not confirm suggestions that she had been raped. However, he did confirm that there were bruises and lesions on her body, which were consistent with involvement in a struggle.

Miss Kercher, a student from Leeds University who was in Italy as part of the Erasmus programme, is known to have attended at least one Halloween party last Wednesday night.

Police have been checking fingerprints found on two mobile phones belonging to Miss Kercher, one of which was found abandoned in the garden of an elderly woman, who handed it in to police.

Miss Kercher's father, John Kercher, told 'The Daily Telegraph' that he had found it "very difficult" to deal with the circumstances surrounding her death.

A candlelit vigil was held in Meredith's memory at Perugia's cathedral on Monday night.

(KMcA)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

16 September 2008
Trio In Court Over Meredith Kercher Murder
A hearing is taking place in the Italian town of Perugia to decide if the three suspects accused of the murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher should face trail. American Amanda Knox, 21, her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24, and Rudy Hermann Guede, 21, originally from the Ivory Coast, all deny sexual assault and murder.
04 October 2011
Knox Freed Over Dodgy DNA Evidence
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have been cleared of the murder of Meredith Kercher. Miss Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were freed from prison last night after spending four years behind bars following their conviction for British Meredith's murder.
06 November 2007
'Confession' In Cut Throat Student Killing
An American student arrested in connection with the death of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy has reportedly confessed to her role in the killing.
16 January 2009
Meredith Kercher Murder Trial Begins
The trial of two people accused of murdering British Meredith Kercher is opening today in Italy. Italian Raffaele Sollecito, 24, and American Amanda Knox, 21, appeared in front of an eight-member jury in a courthouse in the university town of Perugia.
29 October 2008
Man Sentenced To Life For Meredith Murder
A 21-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. Rudy Guede, originally from the Ivory Coast, was convicted of rape and murder after a closed trial in Perugia, Italy. He was jailed for 30 years.