Italy court orders Knox retrial for Kercher murder

(Credit: Reuters)
A Rome court has overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox, an American who is accused of murdering her roommate in Italy in 2007. Credit: Reuters

ROME // Italy’s top court on Tuesday ordered a retrial of American Amanda Knox and a former boyfriend for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, re-opening a case that prompted harsh criticism of the Italian justice system.

Kercher’s body, with more than 40 wounds and a deep gash in the throat, was found in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia in 2007.

Prosecutors accused Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of killing the 21-year-old Leeds University student during a drug-fuelled sexual assault.

The two were initially found guilty and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison respectively after a trial that grabbed worldwide attention and drew stinging censure of the investigation by independent experts appointed to review evidence in the case.

In 2011, their convictions were quashed after forensic investigators challenged scientific evidence in the original trial. They were released after four years in prison and Knox returned home to the United States.

On Tuesday the Court of Cassation added a further twist by overturning the acquittal, accepting a request from prosecutors and Kercher family lawyers for a retrial, which will be held at a court in Florence.

“This is an important day for the Italian justice system,” Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca said outside the court.

The case that led to the acquittals was “superficial” and “leaked from all sides,”. he said.

Knox said the decision was “painful”. The prosecution had repeatedly been revealed as “unfounded and unfair,” she said in a statement.

Her lawyer Luciano Ghirga said outside the court it was unclear if she would come back to Italy for the retrial.

Knox, dubbed “Foxy Knoxy” in many early media reports, was initially portrayed as promiscuous and dishonest but a lobbying campaign by her family helped change perceptions.

She returned to her Seattle-area home after she was released from prison in Italy and had been scheduled to speak publicly about the trial for the first time on American television in April, when her book of memoirs is also due to be published.

Battle

A third person, Ivorian Rudy Guede, was found guilty and sentenced to 16 years in a separate trial. He is now the only person serving time for the murder, although prosecutors say he could not have killed Kercher by himself.

“We are convinced there were more people in that room than Rudy Guede,” Maresca said. “We are asking the judges to tell us something on this point, as long as their decision is well-grounded and thorough, not like the appeals court which was absolutely superficial.”

Last year, prosecutors filed a motion to appeal against the acquittal, calling the verdicts “contradictory and illogical”.

Italy’s appeal court made the ruling Tuesday after examining whether there were procedural irregularities which gave grounds for a retrial, rather than assessing the details of the case. Its reasons will be announced later.

Giulia Bongiorno, a lawyer for Sollecito, said the decision was not a guilty verdict for her client but just meant the court wanted a more in-depth examination of some aspects of the case.

“Unfortunately we have to continue the battle,” she told reporters. “This is a sentence that says, with regards to the acquittal, that something more is needed,” she said.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

The Word

What we learned from the premiere of 'True…

Does watching someone's marriage implode make for great TV? The show runners at "True Tori" think Tori Spelling's heartbreak is hot stuff indeed.

NHL

Lundqvist, Rangers take control as Flyers falter in…

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist turned away 31 Flyers shots to give the Blueshirts the series edge with a 4-1 victory Tuesday nigh

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

NBA

Breaking down the Sixers top draft options

With the NBA Playoffs now in full force, there’s only one thing on the mind of Sixers fans at the moment -- the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery.

MLB

Metro one-on-one: Q&A with Phillies centerfielder Ben Revere

Charlie Manuel used to say that the Phillies go as Jimmy Rollins goes. Well, Ryne Sandberg might have a new Phillies catalyst, Ben Revere, in his midst.

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.