Italy High Court Overturns Amanda Knox Acquittal, Orders New Trial
By PHOEBE NATANSON ROME, March 26, 2013
Amanda Knox lost her case before Italy's Supreme Court today as the panel ruled she should be retried for the death of her ex-roommate.
The Supreme Court also ordered that Knox's former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, face a new trial for the slaying of Meredith Kercher in Perugia. Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murder in the 2007 killing, but the conviction was thrown out by an appeals court in 2011.
Knox's lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said his client was "incredibly sad" when he broke the news to her.
In a statement, Knox said it was "painful" to receive news that Italy's highest criminal court has overturned her acquittal.
"It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution's theory of my involvement in Meredith's murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair," Knox said.
"I believe that any questions as to my innocence must be examined by an objective investigation and a capable prosecution. The prosecution responsible for the many discrepancies in their work must be made to answer for them, for Raffaele's sake, my sake, and most especially for the sake of Meredith's family. Our hearts go out to them. No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity," she added.
Her lawyer said the new trial will probably start again next year. He said Knox will not come back for new trial, but cautioned it's too early to say.
The new trial does not mean that Knox would be back in an Italian prison any time soon. She would not be required to return to Italy for the trial and if she is convicted again, that ruling would be appealed up to the Supreme Court. More legal proceedings will be necessary to extradite Knox to Italy. Experts do not believe such an effort would be successful.
The court has 90 days to write their "motivation," explaining in detail why they overturned the acquittal and upheld Knox's slander conviction.
Knox's lawyers had said she was "anxious" Monday over the court's hearing. She stayed in Seattle for the hearing.
In their final arguments before Italy's Supreme Court Monday, Dalla Vedova, her lawyer, told the court, "'This trial started with an error and the prosecution continues to insist in the errors even in an attempt to convince the Supreme Court that the recourse should be accepted."
Knox lawyers had also asked that her slander conviction be overturned. She was convicted of slander for falsely accusing her former boss, Patrick Lumumba, as Kercher's killer.
Knox claims that she told police she had a "vision" of Lumumba during a marathon interrogation by police who insisted she had plans to meet Lumumba that night because they found a message on her cellphone telling Lumumba in Italian, "See you later."
During her 2009 trial testimony, Knox said that during her grilling she was hit in the head, threatened and confused.
Dalla Vedova reminded the Supreme Court they had previously ruled Knox's "confession" inadmissible because Knox was never informed she was suspect.
Knox spent nearly four years in prison and three of those years were considered to have satisfied her penalty for slander.