Home News Amanda Knox to face Italian court for 2007 murder

Amanda Knox to face Italian court for 2007 murder

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Amanda KnoxThe American, who was convicted and later acquitted of murdering her roommate while studying abroad in Italy, is expected to appear in an Italian court again on Wednesday, this time to defend herself against libel charges related to the 2007 murder.

It’s the latest twist in a dramatic legal journey that’s still reverberating nearly 17 years after the murder of Knox’s roommate, British student Meredith Kercher, made headlines around the world and thrust Knox into the tabloid spotlight.

Ms Knox is on trial again for libeling the owner of the bar where she worked, accusing him of killing Ms Kercher, who was stabbed. She was convicted of libel in 2009, a conviction upheld by Italian courts.

But a European Court of Justice ruling and changes in Italian law allowed Ms. Knox to appeal again, and Italy’s highest court in October ordered a retrial of the case, which was heard in April at the appeals court in Florence. A verdict is expected on Wednesday.

For Ms Knox, an acquittal would mark the end of a long ordeal. Ms Knox wrote on social media platform X on Monday: explain She will appear in court and hopes to “completely clear myself of the false allegations against me.”

Ms. Knox became a household name in 2007 when she was arrested on suspicion of murdering her 21-year-old roommate, Ms. Kercher, in what prosecutors said was a sex game gone wrong. The 20-year-old American was arrested along with her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 23. All three were attending school in Perugia, a picturesque city in central Italy.

In 2009, Ms. Knox was convicted of murder by an Italian court but was acquitted on appeal. She returned to the United States in 2011, and her case bounced from court to court until she and Mr. Sollecito were able to settle the case. Acquitted In 2015, the Italian Supreme Court ruled.

Bar owner Diya Lumumba, also known as Patrick, was found guilty of libel, a conviction that was upheld in multiple trials.

Since returning to the United States, Ms. Knox, now 36 and a mother of two, has become an advocate for those incarcerated for crimes they did not commit and an activist for criminal justice reform.

Rudy Gedde, a Perugia resident and a frequent burglar, was tried separately and convicted of murder. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison, 13 of which he has already served. Released in 2021who has made headlines recently after his ex-girlfriend accused him of abusing her. His lawyer said this week that the case involving the ex-girlfriend is still under investigation.

Mr. Lumumba, who ran a bar called Le Chic at the time and worked part-time there, became collateral damage when Ms. Knox identified him as Ms. Kercher’s killer during an all-night interrogation a few days after the murder.

Ms. Knox withdrew the charges within hours of signing two statements against him that were later ruled inadmissible by the courts. But Mr. Lumumba was arrested and spent two weeks in jail until he was released after one of his clients provided an impeccable alibi.

Mr. Lumumba sued Ms. Knox for defamation and she was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison, four of which she served.

In a December 2023 episode, “mazeSpeaking on a podcast she hosts with husband Christopher Robinson, Ms Knox said she was still upset by the libel verdict.

To some, she said, “it proves that I’m a liar and a nasty person and that I have something to hide and that I never told the whole truth about what happened to Meredith. Only people who participated in a crime would make statements that incriminate themselves and others.”

Ms. Knox, who arrived in Perugia just two months before the murder, insists she was forced to accuse Mr. Lumumba during an all-night interrogation without a lawyer, during which she says the police punched her in the back of the head.

The interrogation that night was not recorded, and Italian police have sued Ms. Knox for defamation over her account of the interrogation. He was acquitted in 2016.

In 2019, Europe’s highest human rights court ruled that Ms. Knox Lack of adequate legal aid The Italian court ruled that Knox violated her right to a fair trial by intentionally using violence during the interrogation and ordered Italy to pay her €18,400 (about $21,000 at the time) in damages, legal fees and costs. The court also questioned the role of Knox’s translator and said that Knox’s statements during the interrogation “were made under conditions of high psychological stress.”

During an April hearing on the defamation case, Italian prosecutors and Lumumba’s lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, argued that Knox deliberately accused the bar owner to divert attention from her and derail the investigation.

Pacelli said in a telephone interview that jurors at Wednesday’s hearing will be asked to consider a four-page statement written by Knox that retracted her two signature allegations against Mr. Lumumba, “as well as background and documented evidence.” He said that while Knox knew his client was innocent, she never disclosed that fact to investigators.

In a handwritten statement, she wrote of her confusion: “I want to make it clear that I have serious doubts about the veracity of these statements of mine, as they were made under the stress of pressure, shock and extreme exhaustion.”

Ms. Knox was ordered to pay Mr. Lumumba damages, but Mr. Pacelli said Ms. Knox never paid any money to his client. As a result of the allegation, Mr. Lumumba lost his business and left Italy with his family. He now lives in Krakow, Poland, and did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr Pacelli said: “This was a trial that had some very surprising twists and turns from time to time.”

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