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Last Updated: Friday, 30 November 2007, 17:59 GMT
Meredith suspects to stay in jail
Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox (above) shared a house with Meredith Kercher
Two suspects in the inquiry into the murder of Briton Meredith Kercher in Italy have been told by a court that they must stay in prison.

Raffaele Sollecito, 23, and Amanda Knox, 20, are being held over the killing on 1 November in Perugia.

They, and two others, deny any role in the death of Leeds University student Miss Kercher, 21, of Coulsdon, London.

Evidence against the pair - who can be held for up to a year before trial - was re-examined at a closed hearing.

Francesco Maresca, lawyer for Miss Kercher's relatives, said he was "very satisfied" with the decision and the family had been informed.


Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito, who have both been in jail since 6 November, attended the hearing in front of a panel of three judges.

Their lawyers had appealed against their continued detention, but the court ruled they had to stay behind bars.

Lawyers for Congolese bar owner Diya Lumumba, 38, who was released from jail last week but is still a suspect in the case, were also present at the hearing.

Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, who is originally from the Ivory Coast, was arrested in Germany on 20 November and is awaiting extradition.

German authorities are delaying the process until they receive more information from Italy.

Raffaele Sollecito
Police say evidence links Raffaele Sollecito to the crime scene

Prosecutors in Germany want assurances that in the event of Mr Guede receiving a life sentence his case will be reviewed after 20 years.

'Enough evidence'

Miss Kercher was studying in Perugia for a year.

She was found dead in her bedroom in the house she shared with American Miss Knox.

The Briton's throat was cut and police have said there was evidence of violent sex.

The lead investigator in the case, Giuliano Mignini, argued Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito should not be freed; he says there is enough evidence to detain them and a risk that they could go on the run.

According to a 36-page submission made to the court by Mr Mignini, Miss Knox is placed at the crime scene by a bloodstain on a tap, and her DNA was found on a knife at Mr Sollecito's house.

The evidence against Mr Sollecito is that a bloody footprint found in Miss Kercher's bedroom could have been his, and that a kitchen knife found at his house contained clear evidence of both Miss Knox's and Miss Kercher's DNA.

Before the hearing, Mr Sollecito's lawyer Marco Brusco had said that he was confident his client would be released.

If not, he had also requested that Mr Sollecito be placed under house arrest in Puglia, 250 miles from Perugia.

After the hearing, Mr Brusco said he planned to apply to Perugia's public prosecutor, Claudia Matteini, for his client to be released.

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