The highest court in Italy is expected to make a ruling Wednesday on whether to uphold the murder conviction of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend for the killing in 2007 of Meredith Kercher a British student.
The case, which inspired films and books, has held the attention of media in Italy and the U.S. for the past 8 years and the decision by the court could trigger a huge legal battle between these two allies.
Knox who is now 27 and 30-year old Raffaele Sollecito were convicted last year for the second time in the murder of Kercher, who had been found stabbed to death inside the house she had shared with Knox in Perugia a city in central Italy known for its universities.
The confirmation of the two convictions might trigger a complicated and long battle of Italy attempting to extradite Knox out of the U.S. Sollecito, who had his passport taken while the decision was pending and who attended the hearing on Wednesday might be arrested.
The Court of Cassation, which started its hearing on Wednesday, could also overturn the latest conviction and then order yet another trial or acquit the two, though legal experts believe the last option is not likely.
Both Sollecito and Knox have from the beginning claimed their innocence.
In the past, Washington has refused to send its military personnel to Italy to serve out sentences, but sparing a private citizen such as Knox from the extraditions process would be considered an anomaly say legal experts.
Some experts said a double jeopardy constitutional ban in the U.S. on retrial for the same offense following an acquittal, and because she was tried in absentia, could be considered in her favor.
Knox had become known in the U.S. as a victim of a botched murder investigation. She and her former boyfriend were convicted in 2009 in the first trial, that was overturned in 2011 and both were freed from prison with Knox leaving Italy immediately.
Rudy Guede, born in the Ivory Coast, is currently serving a sentence of 16 years for the crime but judges in his separate trial said he did not act alone.