Amanda Knox found guilty of slander again for accusing an innocent man of murder

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — An Italian court re-convicted Amanda Knox on Wednesday of slander, even after she was exonerated of the brutal murder of her British roommate in 2007 when the two were exchange students in Italy.

The court found that Knox had wrongly accused an innocent man, the Congolese owner of the bar where she worked part-time, of the murder. But she will not serve any more prison time, as the three-year sentence counts as time already served.

Knox, who had returned to Italy for only the second time since she was released in 2011 to participate in the trial, showed no visible emotion as she read the verdict aloud.

But her lawyer, Carlo della Vedova, said shortly after: “Amanda is very bitter.”

Knox wrote on social media before the hearing that she hoped to “clear my name once and for all of the false accusations against me.” Wish me good luck.”

The murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in the idyllic hilltop town of Perugia made global headlines as suspicion turned to Knox, a 20-year-old exchange student from Seattle , and her new Italian boyfriend of only a week, Raffaele Sollecito.

The reversed verdicts during nearly eight years of legal proceedings have polarized trial observers on both sides of the Atlantic as the The case was hotly debated on social networksthen in its infancy.

Knox’s retrial was set by a European court ruling that Italy violated his human rights during a long night of interrogation days after Kercher’s murder, deprived of a lawyer and a competent translator.

Earlier in the hearing, Knox asked the eight Italian judges and members of the civil jury to clear her of the defamation charge.

In a soft and sometimes brittle voice, Knox told the court that she falsely accused Patrick Lumumba under intense police pressure.

“I am very sorry that I was not strong enough to resist the pressure from the police,” Knox told the panel in a 9-minute prepared statement, seated alongside them in the jury box. She told them: “I didn’t know who the murderer was. I had no way of knowing.

The case continues to attract media attention, with photographers crowding around Knox, her husband Christopher Robinson and their legal team as they entered the courtroom about an hour before the hearing. A camera hit her in the left temple, her lawyer Luca Luparia Donati said. Knox’s husband examined a small bump on her head as they sat in the front row of court.

Despite Knox’s Exoneration and the conviction of an Ivorian whose fingerprints and DNA were found on site, doubts about his role persisted, particularly in Italy. This is largely due to the accusation she made against Lumumba.

Knox is now 36, the mother of two young children. She returned to Italy for only the second time since she was released in October 2011, after four years in prison, by an appeal from the Perugia court which overturned the original guilty verdict in the murder case against Knox and Sollecito.

She remained in the United States despite two other voluntary verdicts before Italy’s highest court finally exonerated the two men of murder in March 2015, stating categorically that they had not committed the crime.

In the fall, Italy’s highest court of cassation threw out the slander conviction that had withstood five trials, order a new trialthanks to an Italian judicial reform of 2022 allowing the reopening of cases that resulted in a final verdict if human rights violations are noted.

This time the court was ordered to disregard two damaging statements written by police and signed by Knox at 1:45 a.m. and 5:45 a.m., while she was detained for questioning overnight until the early hours of the month of November. December 6, 2007. In her statements, Knox said she remembered hearing Kercher scream and pointed the finger at Lumumba for the murder.

A few hours later, still in custody around 1 p.m., she asked for a pen and paper and wrote her own statement in English, questioning the version she had signed.

“Regarding this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I would like to clarify that I very much doubt the veracity of my statements because they were made under the pressure of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion “, she wrote.

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