BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 15:07 GMT
Family must wait to bury Meredith
Meredith Kercher
Miss Kercher was an exchange student in the Italian city of Perugia
A court in Italy has said it needs more time to decide whether to order a second post-mortem on the body of a murdered British student.

The family of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher had asked authorities in Perugia to release her body for burial.

Their lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said: "The Kercher family are just waiting to be able to have a funeral."

Miss Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with her throat cut on 1 November. Three people are in custody.

They are Miss Kercher's American housemate Amanda Knox, 20, Ms Knox's Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 23, and Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, who is originally from the Ivory Coast.

A fourth man, Congolese bar owner Diya "Patrick" Lumumba, 38, was released from custody by Italian police last week because of a lack of evidence.

DNA tests

The hearing was held in front of Perugia's prosecutor general, Claudia Matteini, to decide whether results from the original post mortem examination were sufficient to more accurately establish the time and cause of Miss Kercher's death.

Last week, Italian police said DNA tests showed Mr Guede had sex with Miss Kercher on the night she died.

He was arrested on a train in Germany after failing to buy a ticket and is expected to be extradited to Italy within days.

Mr Guede has reportedly admitted being in the house at the time of the murder, but has insisted Miss Kercher was killed by a stranger.

Police do not believe the murder was premeditated but allege each of the suspects played a role.

All of the suspects deny sexually assaulting and murdering Miss Kercher, who was a student at Leeds University.


Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific