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  • 30 January 2014, 19:06

Knox Says 'Heart In Mouth' Ahead Of Verdict

Amanda Knox has said her "heart will be in her mouth" as she awaits a new verdict expected in the Meredith Kercher murder case.

Knox told Italian television via Skype that she would be at home in Seattle with her mother and family and that her lawyer would inform her of the outcome.

Insisting she was not involved in the murder, she said: "The proof is in the facts. There is no proof that I was there when this happened. I remember Meredith as a person who gave me friendship from the very beginning.

"If I am convicted I understand that I will be seen as a fugitive but I will continue to fight until the end."

:: See the latest updates on the Knox and Sollecito verdicthere.

In a final appeal to the court her lawyer Luciano Ghirga said his client should be cleared "because there is no proof she was at the scene".

"There is no blood from Meredith on the blade," he said.

He also added that it was "inadmissible and unfounded" that custodial measures should be imposed on Knox if she was found guilty.

It comes as Patrick Lumumba, the barman Knox wrongly accused of killing Miss Kercher in 2007, urged Knox to come to court "'if she is as innocent as she claims".

Mr Lumumba was held in custody after Knox told police she had ''covered her ears as he killed'' Miss Kercher in the student house the girls shared.

However, he was cleared after two weeks when a university professor provided a watertight alibi, while Knox was charged with murder and sexual assault along with her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

The pair's conviction was overturned on appeal but the Italian Supreme Court ordered a retrial of that appeal and the verdict is due this week. Sollecito was in court on Thursday for the fresh verdict.

ArlineKercher, Meredith's mother, told Sky News: "We just want justice," adding that she thinks about Meredith "all the time".

Meredith's sister Stephanie and brother Lyle said: "We just want to find out the truth on what happened on that night and to get justice.

"The only people that can do that are the judges, the jury, who are there with the evidence.

"They are the ones who will make the decision based on what they have heard. As we have always said we don't want the wrong people to pay, we are ready to accept whatever decision."

Mr Lumumba, who lost his bar following Knox's allegations and is now an unemployed musician, wants to see the 26-year-old back in the courtroom.

Speaking ahead of Thursday's verdict, he said: ''If she (Knox) is innocent she should come to court for the decision. I will be there. If she is so sure that she had nothing to do with it, then she should be in court to hear the judge's decision.

''I think she is running away - I'm the one who has been left in a real mess because of what she said. My bar closed and my business folded - I have nothing now and no work.

''Because of what she said I was put in jail for two weeks and my bar was impounded by the police for four months. My friends tried to help me as best they could but it wasn't enough because they were all having a hard time as well.

''The false arrest had a real negative impact on my personal life and my business life - things have never really recovered and it's all because of what Amanda wrongly told the police. I haven't even been paid any compensation by her that I'm owed.''

As a result of the false accusation, MrLumumba was dragged from his home in front of his children and wife in a dawn raid.

Knox was convicted of slandering him and ordered to pay him ?22,000 in 2011.

She andSollecito, 29, were originally charged in 2007 after Miss Kercher was found semi-naked with her throat cut in the bedroom of her house in Perugia, Italy.

Knox was sentenced to 26 years and Sollecito to 25 years but in 2011 the verdicts were overturned and both walked free.

The retrial began last September in Florence, 100 miles from where the murder took place.

Though Knox has remained in the US, she did email the court to protest her innocence in a statement read out by her lawyer in which she insisted she ''was not a monster".

Judge Alessandro Nencini described the emailed statement as unusual, adding that defendants ''should be in court if they wanted to speak".

It is not entirely clear if the Italian authorities would seek Knox's extradition even though a treaty exists between both countries.

To add to the confusion, any verdict will go to a further automatic appeal at the Supreme Court - so a final decision could be years away.

The retrial has shifted the alleged motive away from a sex game gone wrong to a simple bitter feud of jealousy between Knox and Miss Kercher - with the British girl uncomfortable at her Americanflatmate'suntidiness and habit of bringing men home.

However, Knox and her lawyers insist the theory is rubbish, with Knox herself stressing that the two were ''good friends'' and that she has expressed several times a desire to visit Miss Kercher's grave and meet her family.

Miss Kercher's sister Stephanie and brother Lyle are expected to travel from their home in Coulsdon, Surrey, for the verdict - the third time in seven years they have attended a court trial.

Stephanie said the family "just want everything to be over", adding "we can only accept what the judges say and accept the Italian judicial system".

A third man, Rudy Guede, 27, described as a drifter from the Ivory Coast, is serving a 16-year sentence for murder and sexual assault and is expected to be released on parole next year. He, like Knox and Sollecito, has always protested his innocence.

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