What to know about the latest trial involving Amanda Knox | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
Subscribe

Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?

Current Conditions Mostly Cloudy  20.4°C

What to know about the latest trial involving Amanda Knox

Lumumba's lawyer Carlo Pacelli speaks with reporters after the hearing at the Florence courtroom in Florence, Italy, Wednesday, June 5, 2024. Amanda Knox returns to an Italian courtroom Wednesday for the first time in more than 12½ years to clear herself "once and for all" of a slander charge that stuck even after she was exonerated in the brutal 2007 murder of her British roommate in the idyllic hilltop town of Perugia. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Original Publication Date June 04, 2024 - 8:06 AM

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Seventeen years after she was accused of killing her British roommate, Amanda Knox returned to an Italian court to hear the outcome of a slander charge that has stuck long after she was exonerated of the murder.

Knox was reconvicted of slander Wednesday for wrongly accusing an innocent man of the 2007 murder of Briton Meredith Kercher when the two were exchange students in Italy.

She had hoped to remove the last legal stain against her as she appeared at an Italian tribunal for the first time since she was freed in 2011 after spending four years in prison for Kercher's killing.

Despite a murder conviction against a man whose DNA and footprints were found at the scene, and a 2015 high court verdict definitively clearing Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, doubt about her role has persisted. That is especially true in Italy, among members of Kercher’s family and for the innocent man she accused, Patrick Lumumba.

Here is a glance at the key details in the case:

WHO IS AMANDA KNOX?

Knox was a 20-year-old student who had recently arrived in the university town of Perugia to study when her British roommate, Kercher, was found dead in her bedroom in the apartment they shared with two Italian roommates on Nov. 2, 2007.

The murder grabbed worldwide attention as suspicion fell on Knox and Sollecito, with whom she had been involved for just about a week. Headlines dubbing her “Foxy Knoxy” circled the globe, fueled by sensational images of her and Sollecito in a tender moment outside the murder scene and in a store buying undergarments for Knox, whose apartment had become a crime scene.

Knox and Sollecito were convicted in their first trial but after another round of flip-flop verdicts, they were ultimately exonerated by Italy’s highest court in 2015.

WHAT IS THE SLANDER CASE?

Knox was accused of slandering Lumumba, the Congolese bar owner who employed her part-time, based on two statements typed by police that she signed during a long night of questioning just days after the killing. She tried to walk back her story in a four-page handwritten note the next afternoon, but the memo showed her confusion as she attempted to reconcile the signed police statements with her own conflicting recollections.

During her first trial, Knox said police pressure led her to initially accuse an innocent man, a statement she repeated Wednesday before the Florence appeals court. The slander conviction and three-year sentence remained until the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Knox’s rights had been violated during questioning without a lawyer or qualified translator.

Based on that ruling, Italy’s highest court threw out the conviction last November and ruled the two statements typed by police were inadmissible. It ordered a new trial, stipulating the court examine only Knox's handwritten statement for elements to support slander.

WHO IS PATRICK LUMUMBA?

Patrick Lumumba was the Congolese bar owner who employed Knox part time. He was arrested and held as a suspect in the murder, based on the overnight interrogation of Knox, and despite her handwritten statement later walking back her accusation. Due to the notoriety in the case, Lumumba left Italy and is living in eastern Europe with family. Lumumba joined the current prosecution as a civil party, as is allowed by Italian law, and continues to believe Knox had a role in the murder.

WHO IS RUDY HERMANN GUEDE

Rudy Hermann Guede was convicted of Kercher’s murder in a fast-track trial that foresees a lesser sentence. A drifter who was living in Perugia, Guede was arrested in Germany where he fled after the murder. He initially told a friend in a wiretapped call that Knox had nothing to do with the crime, but after being returned to Italy, he blamed Knox and denied involvement. He was released from prison in 2021 after serving 13 years of a 16-year term that included a ruling that he did not act alone. Guede was recently ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet and not leave his home at night after an ex-girlfriend accused him of physical and sexual abuse. An investigation was ongoing.

WHO WAS MEREDITH KERCHER?

Meredith Kercher was a 21-year-old student from the University of Leeds who was embarking on a year of study in Perugia, living in a rented flat with Knox and two Italian roommates. Friends, who called her “Mez,” described her as “calm, sweet and shy.” The youngest of four children, she grew up on the outskirts of London. She was last seen on the evening of Nov. 1 having dinner with British friends at a nearby apartment. Kercher’s partially nude body was found Nov. 2 with her throat slashed beneath a duvet in her locked bedroom.

HOW DID KNOX REBUILD HER LIFE

Knox returned to the United States after an appeals court threw out her first conviction in 2011, following four years behind bars. While she hoped to resume her life as a college student, she was dogged by public scrutiny as her legal cases continued in Italy.

Now 36 and a mother of two small children, Knox campaigns for criminal justice reform and against forced confessions, drawing on her experience. She has a podcast with her husband and a new limited series based on her best-selling book in development for Hulu that includes Monica Lewinsky among the executive producers. She also has recorded a series on resilience for a meditation app, and is an aspiring comedian, recently posting a routine on Instagram riffing on motherhood.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

  • Popular penticton News
View Site in: Desktop | Mobile