The elder sister of murdered British student Meredith Kercher has warned Amanda Knox to stay away from her grave.
Stephanie Kercher made the plea as an appeal court in Florence, Italy, prepares to review all of the evidence related to the murder once again.
In a statement, Stephanie Kercher said: "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.
"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."
Miss Knox has refused to return to Italy for the retrial which opened in Florence on today, saying she does not have enough money for the trip and can't bear to revisit the ordeal of her imprisonment.
"I was imprisoned as an innocent person and I just can't re-live that," she told NBC.
But giving interviews to the media ahead of the retrial, she said she would like to visit Meredith's resting place.
"The greatest closure would be for the Kerchers to take me to Meredith's grave," she said in an interview with ITV's Daybreak last week. But on Sunday Stephanie Kercher issued her statement asking Miss Knox to stay away.
Miss Knox's retrial is the latest chapter in a legal saga that began with the original trial in January 2009 and the subsequent conviction of the American student and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the murder.
Meredith's body was found in November 2007 in her bedroom of the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, a central Italian town popular with foreign exchange students.
A third man, Rudy Guede, was also convicted for the kiling and is serving a 16-year term. That court found that Guede had not acted alone.
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