Knox’s murder conviction overturned

Italy’s highest court has overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case.

The decision by the Supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending a long legal battle waged by Knox and Raffaele Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her hometown of Seattle, and co-defendent Sollecito have maintained their innocence.

The Supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year’s convictions by a Florence appeals court, and declined to order another trial. The decision means the judges, after thoroughly examining the case, concluded that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence. Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.

Attorney Giulia Bongiorno had dissected the decision of an appeal court in Florence last year to show what she said were numerous errors of fact and logic that resulted in prison sentences of 28 and a half years for Knox and 25 years for Sollecito.

In her closing arguments, Ms Bongiorno said even Knox’s original statement to police — which was never entered as evidence and was later changed — exonerated her client.

Knox, who along with Ms Kercher had been studying in the university town of Perugia, initially accused a Congolese bar owner of the murder. She also told investigators she was home the night Ms Kercher was killed and had to cover her ears to drown out her screams.

Ms Bongiorno said she believed Knox’s statement was coerced, but that even if the high court chooses to consider it, Sollecito figures nowhere in her story.

Ms Kercher, 21, was found dead on November 2, 2007 in the apartment she shared with Knox and two other students. Her throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.

Knox and Sollecito were arrested a few days later. They both have maintained their innocence.

Initially, Sollecito said he was working on his computer all night, and that he could not remember if Knox had stayed the whole night with him. Police said there was no sign he used the computer that night.

The couple later said they had spent the evening together at Sollecito’s place watching a movie, smoking marijuana and making love.

Knox said her initial statement was forced under duress. Her false accusation against Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, who owned the bar where Knox occasionally worked, resulted in a slander conviction against Knox that has been upheld on appeal.

Knox and Sollecito were convicted by a Perugia court in 2009, acquitted and freed in 2011, and convicted in 2014 in Florence after the Court of Cassation overturned the acquittals and ordered a new appeals trial.


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