European Court of Human Rights accepts Amanda Knox case

European court accepts case brought by Amanda Knox against Italy.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has accepted an appeal against Italy by Amanda Knox, the American woman acquitted last year by Italy's highest court, the Cassation Court, of being involved in the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007, according to a report by Italian news agency ANSA.

The case centres around Knox's first trial for which she accuses Italy of inhumane and degrading treatment.

She claims that during questioning in November 2007, she was interrogated for four days without legal assistance, despite her requests for a lawyer, and without an independent interpreter. She also alleges that she was denied food, drink and bathroom breaks during questioning. Her case also includes the subsequent lie by police officers who informed her, falsely, that she was HIV positive, in an alleged attempt to apply psychological pressure.

The ECHR will now consider the Knox case and investigate her claims that she was subjected to an unfair trial and was maltreated during questioning, which would constitute a violation of her rights under European law.

Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, her Italian boyfriend at the time, were originally found guilty in 2009 of the murder and sexual assault of Kercher, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. They were then acquitted in a retrial in 2011, after four years in custody, on the grounds that the DNA evidence produced at the first trial was flawed. Knox returned to the US immediately after being released.

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Prosecution lawyers subsequently appealed to the Cassation Court to overturn the 2011 verdict on procedural grounds, requesting a 26-year jail sentence for Knox and Sollecito, with an additional four years for Knox for slander, for falsely implicating Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba in the murder.

In March 2015 the Cassation Court found in favour of Knox and Sollecito, saying that the evidence didn't physically link them to the scene of the crime.

Separately Rudy Guede, from the Ivory Coast, was convicted in October 2008 of the Kercher assault and murder, and is serving a 16-year jail sentence.