Italy’s top court on Friday overturned a slander conviction against Amanda Knox — the American famously jailed in Italy and later acquitted in the 2007 murder of her roommate — and ordered that she face a new trial.
Knox, a Seattle native, was studying abroad in the Italian city of Perugia when she was accused of killing Meredith Kercher with her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. The case involved two convictions and two appeals before she was finally acquitted of murder in 2015. The court at the time however did uphold her 2011 conviction for slandering Patrick Lumumba.
Knox was sentenced to three years already served for falsely implicating the Congolese bar owner in Kercher’s killing. She went on to appeal the decision, citing a 2019 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that concluded her rights to a lawyer and an interpreter were violated during her initial interrogations with Italian authorities.
Knox celebrated the ruling with a social media thread, writing: “I’m on trial in Italy again…and this is a good thing.”
“Though I was exonerated for murder, I remained wrongly convicted of slander,” she wrote, adding that Friday’s decision “has given me the opportunity to seek my full acquittal.”
“I am no longer a convicted person. And I will fight with my lawyers to prove my innocence once and for all,” she vowed.
Knox went on to explain that Lumumba was her friend at the time of the tragic events, alleging they both became victims of the violations of her human rights, “without which (she) was helpless against the coercive pressure of the police.”
Lumumba spent two weeks in jail in connection with Kercher’s murder. He was only freed after a witness came forward and provided him an alibi.
On Nov. 7, 2007, 21-year-old Kercher was found naked under a blanket with her throat slit on the floor of the bedroom she shared with Knox in the Hilltop University dorms. Authorities were quick to suspect Knox and Sollecito in the slaying, and the sensational case garnered worldwide attention before they were ultimately exonerated.
Rudy Guede, an immigrant from the Ivory Coast, was convicted during a separate trial and sentenced in 2008 to 16 years behind bars for Kercher’s killing. In December 2020, an Italian court ruled that Guede could complete his term with community service. He was released from prison in November 2021.