Italy’s Retrial for Slander of Amanda Knox Begins

An Italian court has opened a new trial against Amanda Knox following the defamation verdict she received for falsely accusing a bar owner of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Knox, who along with her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito spent four years in prison after being convicted of murdering Kercher in 2007, has asked for the slander conviction to be annulled based on a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights. Europe in 2019, concluding that his right to a defense had been violated during a police interrogation in 2007. Italy’s highest court ordered a retrial for libel in October.

Knox , 36, plans to attend a retrial on Wednesday at the Florence court of appeal, but her lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, told Ansa news agency that she remains in the United States because “she is busy taking care of her two little children, one of whom was recently born.”

A sentencing challenge is also possible thanks to the reform of Italy’s criminal procedure code in 2022. Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Coulsdon, south London, was murdered in the house where she was staying with Knox, an American, in the university town of Perugia in November 2007. Her body was found in her bedroom, partially undressed with multiple stab wounds.

She was sexually assaulted. Knox was sentenced to three years in prison after falsely accusing Patrick Lumumba, the owner of the bar where she worked part-time in Perugia, of the crime. Lumumba spent two weeks in jail and was only released after a witness provided him with an alibi. Knox’s sentence covered the four years she spent in prison before being found not guilty of Kercher’s murder on appeal in 2011.

Lawyers for Knox, then a 20-year-old student who spoke basic Italian, argued that she made the charges against Lumumba under police duress and without the assistance of a lawyer or interpreter. Knox was also ordered to pay compensation to Lumumba.“But he never received a penny,” his lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, said in October. This accusation caused Lumumba to lose his business and have to move his family out of Italy.

Knox and Sollecito were acquitted of Kercher’s murder in a 2015 Supreme Court ruling that described “stunning flaws” in the investigation that led to their convictions. Rudy Guede, the only person to be definitively convicted of this murder, was released from prison in November 2021 after serving 13 of a total of 16 years in prison. Guede has been under investigation for allegedly physically and sexually abusing his ex-girlfriend since his release.


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