ROME: Italy’s highest court delayed until today a decision on whether American student Amanda Knox will face a new trial in the murder of her British roommate — an unusual but not unprecedented move.
The court heard six hours of arguments Monday and spent several hours deliberating that and a handful of other cases before announcing it would issue a decision at 10 a.m. today on whether the 2011 acquittals of Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito will stand.
Italian prosecutors have asked the high court to throw out the acquittals of Knox and Sollecito in the murder of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher and order a new trial.
The high court normally issues the decisions the same day it hears arguments. But prosecutor general Luigi Riello told reporters that “in very complex cases, it happens” that the court takes another day.
Lawyers for Sollecito declined to speculate on what the delay could mean for the decision. Sollecito’s father was calm about the development.
“We have waited so many years, one night is not going to make a difference,” Francesco Sollecito said outside the courthouse. He said he hadn’t spoken to his son, who did not attend the hearing, about the day’s proceedings.
Knox, meanwhile, was waiting anxiously in Seattle to hear if her long legal battle is over.
“She’s carefully paying attention to what will come out,” attorney Luciano Ghirga said as he arrived at Italy’s Court of Cassation in Rome. “This is a fundamental stage. The trial is very complex.”
Knox, now 25, and Raffaele Sollecito, who turns 29 today, were arrested in 2007, shortly after Kercher’s body was found in her bedroom in the rented apartment she shared with the American and others in the town of Perugia, where they were exchange students. Her throat had been slashed.