Amanda Knox will return to the scene of the crime she was cleared of committing — so she can cash in on an Italian payday, her lawyer says. Now that Italy’s high court has cleared the twice-convicted and now exonerated defendant, Knox will return to a Lo Stivale court and seek compensation for the four years she spent in prison for the 2007 murder of roommate Meredith Kercher.
“[Knox will] be seeking compensation for wrongful imprisonment,” Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told the Telegraph newspaper. Wrongful convictions often end in seven-digit settlements but there’s no number to put on lost freedom, defendants and their lawyers said.
The father of Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted as Knox’s accomplice and has been freed, said the past several years have been awful. “You could hardly quantify a compensation figure, it has been such an awful business,” said Francesco Sollecito. “We were pilloried.”
The 27-year-old, dubbed “Foxy Knoxy,” also plans to write a book about the Italian judicial system while she’s back there. Knox vowed never to go back to Italy while courts weighed her fate. But Dalla Vedova said his client never lost her love for the country. “She always says she wants to come back,” he told The Sunday Times of London.
Italy’s top court threw out a conviction of American Amanda Knox for the 2007 murder of her British flatmate because of “glaring errors” in the case against her, a document showed on Monday. The brutal stabbing of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher prompted a zigzag of contradictory rulings which ended in March with the acquittal of Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, casting an uncomfortable spotlight on Italy’s legal system.
The Court of Cassation said there were no certain biological traces in the room where the murder was committed, nor on the victim’s body, of Knox or Sollecito, who have maintained their innocence throughout. “There was no shortage of glaring errors in the underlying fabric of the sentence in question,” the court wrote in the official explanation of its reasons for striking down the second guilty verdict handed to the pair.
The legal meandering which produced two convictions, two acquittals and four years each in jail were due to “deplorable” carelessness right from the start of the probe, the court said. A kitchen knife found at Sollecito’s house and alleged to be the murder weapon was kept in a cardboard box, “the kind that gadgets are wrapped up in for Christmas”. A bra clasp said to have carried DNA evidence was left on the floor for 46 days, possibly trodden on and later passed between people wearing dirty latex gloves.
The third person accused of the murder, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence after opting for a fast-track trial, left “copious” biological traces at the scene, the court said. The court said avid media attention paid to the killing and the nationalities of the people involved led “a spasmodic search for one or more guilty parties to offer up to international public opinion” which “certainly did not aid the search for the truth”.
Europe's human rights court has ordered Italy to pay Amanda Knox around $20,000 in financial damages for police failure to provide legal assistance and a translator during questioning following the Nov. 1, 2007 killing of her British roommate.
The European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, France, on Thursday ruled that Italy must pay Knox 10,400 euros damages plus 8,000 euros for costs and expenses.
Knox said in her complaint that the failure to provide her with a lawyer or interpreter during a long night of questioning on Nov. 6 violated her rights.
The court said in its ruling that Italy hadn't succeeded in proving that "the restriction of Ms. Knox's access to a lawyer ... had not irreparably undermined the fairness of the proceedings as a whole."