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Amanda Knox reconvicted of slander in Italy in case linked to her quashed murder conviction

Florence, ItalyAmanda KnoxThe American student who spent nearly four years in an Italian prison after being convicted in 2007 of murdering her roommate Meredith Kercher before being exonerated more than a decade later was re-convicted Wednesday of slander for falsely accusing a bar owner where she had worked. because at the time of the murder.

A Florence court ruled that Knox wrongly accused the innocent Congolese of Kercher’s murder, but the American will not serve additional prison time in Italy as her new three-year sentence has already been served by time which she served for the overturned murder conviction.

Knox showed little emotion as the verdict was read in court Wednesday, but she was later hugged by her husband in the courtroom and they held each other for a moment.

Amanda KNOX arrives with her husband Christopher Robinson, right, at the court in Florence, Italy, June 5, 2024, for her retrial on a defamation charge that remained even after she was exonerated in the brutal 2007 murder of her roommate British in the idyllic hilltop town of Perugia.

Antonio Calanni/AP


The court said Knox would have to pay the legal fees and damages of Patrick Lumumba, the owner of the bar she worked part-time for in Perugia at the time of Kercher’s murder – a sum she said was still owed. determine.

Her lawyers said she would appeal Wednesday’s ruling and that they had 45 days to file their appeal with Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation in Rome. This court decides only on whether a lower court’s decision was made in accordance with legal procedures, but not on the merits of a particular case.

The Florence court was to publish the reasons for its decision within 60 days.

Knox returned to court this week in an effort to erase the last legal stain on her name.

“I will enter the same courtroom where I was once again found guilty of a crime I did not commit, this time to defend myself once again,” Knox said in a post on the social media Monday, before returning to court. “I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false accusations against me. Wish me luck.”

Kercher, a British student, was found dead in her bedroom of the apartment she shared with Knox in the Italian city of Perugia. She was sexually assaulted and stabbed several times. Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of her murder in a sex game gone wrong.

From left to right: Italian student Raffaele Sollecito, murdered Briton Meredith Kercher and her American roommate Amanda Knox.

P.A.


In 2015, after seven years of legal battles and flip-flopping verdicts, Knox and Sollecito were cleared of murder, but the slander conviction against Knox stood. She made the accusation against the Lumumbas during a grueling 53-hour police interrogation shortly after her arrest.

However, very soon after implicating the man, Knox wrote a four-page statement in English casting serious doubt on the testimony she had given to police.

“I would like to clarify that I very much doubt the veracity (sic) of my statements because they were made under the pressure of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I told that I would be arrested and put in prison for 30 years, but I was also hit in the head when I did not remember a fact correctly,” she wrote in the statement.

Knox’s defense team has always maintained that the charge against the bar owner was coerced.

Amanda Knox arrives at Linate Airport in Milan, Italy, in a June 13, 2019, file photo, for a visit to speak at the Criminal Justice Festival.

REUTERS


In 2019, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy violated Knox’s human nights during a police interrogation. Knox said she was interrogated without a lawyer or proper translator and was also beaten by police.

Italy’s top court ordered a retrial, which culminated Wednesday with the ruling against Knox.

Prosecutors had asked the court to uphold the defamation conviction and impose a three-year sentence, which was granted, but as Knox has already spent nearly four years behind bars, starting in 2007, she did not will not have to spend more time in prison.

Another man, Rudy Guédé – whose fingerprints and DNA were found all over the crime scene – was convicted of Kercher’s murder in 2008 and served 13 years in prison before being released in 2021.

News Source : www.cbsnews.com
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