LONDON – Don’t forget the real victim. That is the message from the family of murdered British student Meredith Kercher as family members spoke out today, concerned that all the focus on the guilt or innocence of American Amanda Knox has overshadowed Kercher’s death.
The 21-year student from England was found in her apartment in Perugia, Italy, with her throat slit in November 2007. Since then, the case has transfixed media in the Italy, the U.S. and England.
“Meredith has been almost forgotten in all this,” said her surviving sister, Stephanie Kercher. “It’s very difficult to keep her memory alive in all this.”
With a mass of media assembled in Perugia as Knox awaited the jury’s verdict on her appeal of a 26-year murder sentence, the Kercher family spoke out, concerned that “media hype” was in danger of overwhelming the facts in the case. They refused to talk about Knox’s guilt or innocence.
“It’s very difficult to understand what happened that night without knowing the truth,” Stephanie Kercher said, adding, “It would be very difficult to forgive anything at this stage.”
Meredith Kercher’s brother, Lyle Kercher, said the family had not wanted to speak publicly at this point, but felt compelled to do so to counter Amanda Knox’s “PR machine.”
Their mother, Arlene, said she has confidence in the Italian justice system.
“You have to go by the evidence because there’s is nothing else,” she said. “It is what the police have found, what the evidence is, and that’s all you can go on.”