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Amanda Knox Verdict: 'I Am Not A Promiscuous Vamp. I Am Not Violent'

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AMANDA KNOX
Verdict: Amanda Knox will make a personal plea to the jury in her appeal | PA

Amanda Knox has told of her fear and suffering after being convicted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

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"I have never faced so much fear, so much tragedy, so much suffering." Describing the night Meredith was murdered she says "I could not believe it. How was it possible?

"She was killed in her own house. If I had been there that night I would have died. Just like her. The only difference was I was not there," she said.

"I am the same person as I was four years ago, the only thing that is different is what I have suffered. Over the last four years I lost a friend, a girlfriend, the most brutal way in an unexplained manner. My trust in police authorities has been betrayed.

"I've had to deal with unfair charges and unfounded charges. I am paying with my life for things I did not commit."

She added: "I was manipulated, I am not what they say. I am not a promiscuous vamp, I am not violent.

"I have never done what they say I did. They said this how things go, this is not so. I had good relationships with everybody who was living in my flat. I was untidy, careless, but we did have good relationships.

"We were all willing to help each other. I shared my life particularly with Meredith. We were friends."

Earlier, amid a media storm Amanda Knox arrived in court on Monday to make a final plea against her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Crowds spilled into the street as the packed court room awaited her personal statement to the jury.

Anxious and tired looking Knox was flanked by her legal team who continued to closely advise her ahead of the biggest day of her life.

She was dressed in a black hooded top and green blouse, and her every move was followed by television cameras and photographers who crammed into the court.

Also in court are the parents of victim Meredith and other key players in the case.

Knox could walk free from prison today if an Italian court overturns her conviction. Friends say she has been struggling to sleep and her eating habits have suffered as stress builds ahead of today's verdict.

Perugia is in virtual lockdown as hundreds of reporters lay siege to report the story. Every major network from the US has journalists covering the case.

According to reports local bookmakers are so unsure of the verdict that all bets are off.

The young American is serving a 26-year jail term for killing the British student in what prosecutors said was a sex game taken to the extreme.

She has changed dramatically since her initial conviction, But she maintains she played no part in Miss Kercher's violent death and has been appealing against her trial verdict for the past 11 months.

The process will reach its climax with the judges and jury due to retire to consider whether to acquit her, uphold her conviction or - as prosecutors have requested - even increase her sentence.

Knox, 24, was found guilty after a year-long trial in 2009, along with her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 27, who denies any wrongdoing and has also appealed.

A third person, small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede, was convicted in separate proceedings and defence lawyers for Knox and Sollecito insist he acted alone. Prosecutors say all three acted together.

Before jury deliberations begin, the former lovers will address the court in Perugia, where the murder took place.

The statements they will give represent their final chance to persuade jurors of their innocence, and Knox is said to have been working on hers for three months.

Leeds University student Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon in Surrey, was 21 when she suffered her brutal death. Her body was found on November 2, 2007 in her bedroom at the Perugia cottage she was living in.

Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked corpse was partially covered by a duvet.

Amanda Knox went to Mass on Saturday afternoon as she remained hopeful of being freed from Capanne jail near Perugia in Italy.

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Knox released from prison. Rumours abound that she'll leave the country within hours.

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Knox and Sollecito cleared of murder. The pair are free. Ugly scenes inside and outside the courtroom with people shouting "murderer". Clearly some disquiet about the verdict.

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The Kercher family enter the courthouse to hear the verdict on the convictions of Knox and Sollecito.

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Knox arrives at the courthouse in Perugia to hear the verdict on her appeal.

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BBC is reporting that verdict is now likely in 90 minutes - around 20.30 GMT.

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Knox and Sollecito find out imminently as to the whether the court in Perugia will uphold their convictions for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

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The family said one of the reasons they held the conference was they felt that their sister had been forgotten during the course of the trial.

Stephanie Kercher said: "The focus has shifted for obvious reasons onto the three people in court at the moment. Meredith has been forgotten in all of this. There is not a lot that has been said about what happened at the time. It has been very difficult to keep her memory alive in all of this, this is why the whole trail is going on in the first place."

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He said it was "very hard to talk about forgiveness and difficult to speak about forgives".

"You have to balance forgiveness with compassion as well. But I am not sure we will be giving out forgiveness."

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Earlier in the conference Meredith's brother Lyle said the family felt they were fighting "a large PR machine" operating on behalf of Knox.

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Responding to a question from Fox News, Meredith's mother says Amanda and Meredith were "friendly" but not "that close" as they were "moving in different circles".

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Stephanie Kercher says the family will be satisfied with the verdict as long as it is based "purely on the information available to them" and is not caught up in the "media hype".

"For now we would just have to wait and see," she says.

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Meredith's brother: "We remember her up until the point she left, as if she went on an extended break and hasn't come back yet."

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Meredith Kercher's mother is speaking about the verdict.

"What I want, what they want [Knox and Sollecito] doesn't come into it, it was what the police have found what the science has found what the evidence is, that's all we can go on," she says.

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Stephanie Kercher says it is difficult to understand what happened to her sister the night she died.

"The brutality of what actually happened that night and everything that Meredith must have felt that night everything she went through the fear and the terror and not knowing," she said.

"She didn't deserve that, no one deserves that.

"Its very difficult to understand what happened that night without knowing the truth."

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An official from the British embassy is organising the press conference.

He says the answers to any questions will not be translated from English into Italian.

Meredeth's sister Stephanie says she feels her sister has been forgotten as all the focus has been on Knox and Sollecito.

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The family of Meredith Kercher are due to hold a press conference in Perugia.

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ABC News in the United States has posted a video of Knox's statement
@ GMA : Full video: Amanda Knox to Court: 'I Want to Go Home' http://t.co/HtWrPdK1

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Channel 4 News' Keme Nzerem reports:
@ nzerem : The #kerchers have just landed at #perugia airport for #Amandaknox appeal. Sister Stephanie says 'we'll talk later'

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@ RobNisbetSky : This is scene outside media entrance to court http://t.co/erO0zeUA

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Knox has concluded her remarks.

The judging panel will now retire to consider the verdicts. The ruling is expected sometime after 20:00 pm Italian time (19:00 pm BST).

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Knox tells the court that she has spoken a lot about Meredith. She says she has "always wanted justice for her".

"I want truth. I insist that after four desperate years on our innocence because it is true. And deserves to be defended and recognized," she says.

"I want to go back home. I want to go back to my life. I don't want to be punished.

"I am innocent. And Raffaele is innocent too. We do not deserve this.

An emotional Knox tells the court: "We never did anything to deserve this."

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Knox: "I was manipulated, I am not what they say. I am not a promiscuous vamp, I am not violent."

"I have never did what they say I did, they said this how things go, this is not so. I had good relationships with everybody who was living in my flat. I was untidy, careless, but we did have good relationships.

"We were all willing to help each other. I shared my life particularly with Meredith. We were friends."

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"I have never faced so much fear so much tragedy so much suffering," she says,

Describing the night Meredith was murdered she says "I could not believe it. How was it possible".

"She was killed in her own house. If i had been there that night I would have died. Just like her. The only difference was I was not there," she says.

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I am the same person as I was four years ago, the only thing that is different is what i have suffered," she tells the court.

"Over the last four years I lost a friend, a girlfriend, the most brutal way in an unexplained manner.

"My trust in police authorities has been betrayed.

"I've had to deal with unfair charges and unfounded charges. I am paying with my life for things I did not commit."

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He says he was in an "idyllic situation" that day as he had just met Knox and was about to get his degree.

"I was about to reach a very important objective, I was going to debate my thesis that was practically ready over the next few days and I would have got my degree," he says,

"I'd met Amanda Knox just earlier on, she was a beautiful woman."

"We only wanted to spend the evening stroking each other and cuddling each other and nothing else. Our desire our wish was just to do that, nothing else."

He concludes: "I hope there is going to be hope for Amanda and myself. I hope there is going to be a new future, which i think we deserve."

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"Amanda and I have been in prison for more than 1,400 days," he says. "We have spent these 1,400 days practically 20 hours a day in a cell that is about 2.5 meters by three. it is very difficult to figure out what it is like to live in such a small space."

He tells the court that his family has made huge sacrifices for him while he has been in prison.

"My family has given me whatever they could, they have made huge sacrifices to give me all the necessary tools to face this trial and to get me out of this situation" he says,

"I thought the outcome was clear from the very beginning unfortunately this has not been the case."

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Sollecito says he has been "living a nightmare".

"Somehow I would like to say that every day in prison, by the end of the day you really feel like dead, every day is like that," he tells the court.

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Raffaele Sollecito is speaking in court.

"What happened was so big it is impossible to say something that can take everything in," he says.

"I've never harmed anyone never, ever in my life. The charges that have been made against me all these years were so out of place somehow i thought they would disappear."

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Sky News and the BBC are periodically returning to the court, but you can watch the whole thing live on this dedicated BBC stream.

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Around the Web

Murder of Meredith Kercher - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Amanda Knox: Four Possible Verdicts - ABC News

Amanda Knox | World news | The Guardian

Could Amanda Knox Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder? – TIME ...

The Neverending Nightmare of Amanda Knox | Culture News ...

10 new reasons why Amanda Knox must go free | Let's Talk About ...

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Amanda Knox | New Evidence | Release | The Daily Caller

Amanda Knox expects to be home by Thanksgiving - seattlepi.com

Amanda Knox is a she-devil, Italian court told | Reuters

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