Amanda Knox Says She Won't Go to Italy for Retrial Mar 28, 2015 12:05:30 GMT
Post by ThirdTerm on Mar 28, 2015 12:05:30 GMT
In a final ruling, Italy's highest court on Friday overturned the convictions of American Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend in the sensational murder case of Knox's British roommate. The six judges announced their decision about 10:30 p.m. in Rome (5:30 p.m. ET). They began deliberating at noon after closing arguments by the lawyer for Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend when 21-year-old Meredith Kercher was stabbed to death in late 2007. The ruling, which struck down last year's guilty verdicts by a Florence appeals court, which brings the eight-year case to a close. The judges concluded that the evidence did not support a conviction. Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.
The 27-year-old Knox did not return to Italy from her Seattle home for the final appeal. Knox, who had consistently maintained her innocence, was "very worried" in the days before the ruling, said her Italian lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova. Sollecito's lawyer made a final appeal to the court Friday, saying there were "colossal" errors in the Florence appeals court verdict. In her two-hour argument, Giulia Bongiorno compared Sollecito to Forrest Gump, the naive, dim-witted-but-earnest fictional hero of the book and 1994 movie starring Tom Hanks. "He is an innocent who became wrapped up in spectacular and gigantic events that, like Forrest Gump, he did not fully realize," she said, saying her client was "was watching cartoons" at home when Kercher was killed.
Knox was 20 and studying in Italy in November 2007 when Kercher was found dead of multiple knife wounds in the flat they shared in the picturesque hillside town of Peruggia. Authorities determined she had been sexually assaulted and her throat had been slashed. Under police questioning, Knox said she was in the flat and heard the murder but did not participate. She later recanted, saying she gave the statement under duress. Knox, then-boyfriend Sollecito and another man, Rudy Guede, were charged with the murder. Guede, whose DNA was found on Kercher's body, agreed to a fast-track trial and was convicted of murder in 2008. The native of the Ivory Coast is serving 16 years in an Italian prison.
Amanda Knox has been speaking after she and her Italian ex-boyfriend were again cleared of the murder of her former flatmate, Meredith Kercher in the final ruling of a long-running case. She told the press: "I'm incredibly grateful for what has happened, for the justice I have received". When asked about Meredith Kercher, she said: "She deserved so much in this life, I'm the lucky one."