The Kerchers – family left with nothing but memories
Meredith Kercher’s motherand siblings talk to The FirstPost about the void in theirlives
PERUGIA – In the end, they are the family left with nothing. Amanda Knox has flown home with her family to Seattle, tailed by a gaggle of reporters and photographers eager to chronicle her first days of freedom. Raffaele Sollecito was joyously reunited with his loyal family from Bari. Patrick Lumumba won 22,000 euros compensation for slander.
But the long-suffering family of Meredith Kercher are left wondering what on earth happened - to their daughter and to the evidence that originally convicted their daughter’s alleged killers.
The Kerchers put their faith in a foreign justice system that gave them an answer in December 2009 – but which has now emphatically changed its mind. The family are, as Meredith Kercher’s older brother, Lyle, said today, "back to square one". No closure. No truth. No peace.
Yet their dignified reserve, even in the face of such a dramatic turn of events, has become the hallmark of this modest British family. While noting there is still a high court decision that must be made on the case, they said they respected the appeal court’s decision and called for the parties involved to maintain “a mutual respect and distance” while all the families try to return to normalcy.
But in their first face-to-face sit-down interview after Monday’s verdict, Meredith Kercher’s mother Arline, sister Stephanie and brother Lyle told The First Post just how difficult “normalcy” is without Meredith.
“It drops in and out of the media, but to us it’s always still there,” said Lyle, sitting between his sister and mother.
They miss the most ordinary things - the way she used to come dancing into the living room or rugby tackle her brother... her quick-witted sense of humour.
“It’s so sad. At the age she was killed, there was still so much ahead. We had so many laughs and good times ahead that we will never have.”
Not knowing what happened the night she was murdered – and not being sure of who should be held responsible – remains an open wound for this bereaved family.
If the police don’t re-open an investigation - which they most likely won’t - the next phase of truth-seeking will come when the appeal court judges deliver the reasoning behind their decision, expected in 90 days’ time.
Prosecutors then have 45 days to lodge a challenge. It could be years before the case arrives before the Court of Cassation, and even then, the years of very public and vitriolic legal proceedings will likely make any final decision of little comfort.
“There’s always going to be that void there,” said Arline, her dark eyes brimming with tears. “That void that nobody fills.” ·
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