The trial of the ex-lovers charged with killing Meredith Kercher will begin in Perugia, Italy this Friday.

Amanda Knox, 21, and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 24, are accused of murdering the Old Palace pupil from Coulsdon in a sex game that went wrong.

Her body was discovered in the house she, Knox and two others shared in the Italian town of Perugia.

She was found on November 2, 2007 with more than 47 cuts and bruises on her body.

Prosecutors claim that Knox and Sollecito murdered the Leeds University student with the help of Rudy Guede, 21, a drifter from the Ivory Coast.

They claim that Knox stabbed Miss Kercher in the throat while Sollecito held her down and Guede tried to sexually assault her.

In a pre-trial hearing in October last year, Knox and Sollecito said that they spent the night of the murder in Sollecito's flat in Perugia.

They said that they returned to the house to find Miss Kercher semi-naked with her throat cut.

Investigators believe the murder weapon is a knife with a 30cm blade found at Sollecito's home.

Guede elected to undergo a fast track trial in October last year and was convicted of Meredith Kercher's murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito are expected to argue that the murder was committed by Guede acting on his own.

Court officials in Perugia say that over 130 media organisations have applied for press passes to attend the trial.

It is expected that over 250 witnesses will be called and the trial could last several months.