Main dates in Amanda Knox sex-murder case

US student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito face a fresh verdict on Thursday in their retrial for the murder and sexual assault of British student Meredith Kercher.

Here are the main dates in the case:


November 2: The body of Leeds University student Kercher, who was in Perugia on an exchange programme, is found by police half-naked in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck in the cottage she shared with Knox.

November 6: Police arrest Knox, Sollecito and Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, after Knox says she was in the house while Lumumba committed the murder. She later said she made the statement under duress during police questioning.

November 20: Police in Germany arrest Ivorian immigrant Rudy Guede, who had fled Perugia, after DNA evidence is found linking him to the murder. He is extradited to Italy. Lumumba is released and fully exonerated.


October 28: Guede is sentenced to 30 years in jail for the murder and sexual assault of Kercher following a fast-track trial. His sentence is later reduced to 16 years on appeal after he apologised to the Kercher family.


January 16: Trial of Knox and Sollecito begins to massive media attention.

December 5: Knox is found guilty and sentenced to 26 years in prison. She shouts "No! No!" in the courtroom and breaks into sobs. Sollecito gets 25 years.


March 22: The ruling from Guede's appeal says he sexually assaulted Kercher but was not the one who actually killed her. It says that she was killed during a violent sexual assault involving Guede, Sollecito and Knox.

November 24: Appeal hearings for Knox and Sollecito begin in Perugia.

December 18: The court orders a review of key forensic evidence. Two independent experts are appointed to re-examine DNA traces on the presumed murder weapon -- a kitchen knife -- and on Kercher's bra strap.


July 25: Independent experts tell the court the DNA evidence is likely to have been contaminated due to poor police practices -- including the use of dirty gloves and collecting evidence more than a month after the murder.

October 3: The Perugia court acquits Knox, who breaks down and pleads for mercy in a dramatic end to her four-year legal battle, as well as Sollecito. Knox returns immediately to the United States.


February 14: Italian prosecutors lodge an appeal against the acquittal saying it contains "omissions and many mistakes".


March 26: Italy's highest court in Rome overturns the appeal verdict and rules that Knox and Sollecito must face a retrial in Florence, accusing the appeal judge who freed them of "a rare mix of violation of the law and illogicality" and having "lost his way".

September 20: The retrial begins, with Knox tried in absentia.

November 26: Prosecutors say the previous appeals court made the mistake of "isolating" individual pieces of evidence without looking at the full picture, and call for Knox to get 30 years and Sollecito 26.