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Amanda Knox back in Italy for slander retrial

Knox seeks to clear her name in slander retrial linked to Meredith Kercher murder.

American Amanda Knox returned to a courtroom in Italy on Wednesday in an effort to overturn a slander conviction in relation to the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007.

Knox, 36, spent four years in jail in Italy after being convicted of the murder of 21-year-old Kercher, before being definitively cleared of the crime in 2015 along with her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

At the time of the murder, Kercher and Knox were flatmates in the central Italian city of Perugia where they were both studying as exchange students.

In 2009 Knox and Sollecito were convicted of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher who was found dead on 2 November 2007 with 47 bruises and stab wounds.

They were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively.

Knox also received a three-year defamation conviction for falsely accusing her then-boss, Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba, of killing Kercher.

Lumumba was jailed for two weeks in 2007 before being released after a witness provided him with an alibi.

Lawyers for Knox claimed that she named Lumumba while under duress when she was being questioned by police with no legal assistance or interpreter.

Perugia, 22 January 2011: Amanda Knox in the court for a trial session for Meredith Kercher murder case. Photo credit: Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com.

 

Knox and Sollecito were acquitted of murder charges in a retrial in 2011, on the grounds that the DNA evidence produced at the first trial was flawed, however in 2014 they were convicted again by an appeals court in Florence.

In 2015 Italy’s highest court overturned the decision in a definitive ruling over what it said were "sensational failures" in the investigation that led to the pair's convictions.

However Knox remained convicted of slander, a charge she is now seeking to have quashed.

Earlier this week, ahead of her appearance at the appeals court in Florence, she wrote on X: "I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me."

Knox had asked for the slander conviction to be dropped in light of a 2019 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which determined that her defence rights had been violated during police questioning.

Following her request, last October Italy’s top court ordered a retrial.

Rudy Guede, the only person definitively convicted of Kercher's murder, was granted early release in 2021 after serving 14 years of a 16-year jail sentence.

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
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