Amanda Knox Fails to Get Slander Conviction Overturned as Ruling Related to Meredith Kercher’s Murder Is Upheld

Amanda Knox's bid to overturn a 2009 slander conviction failed short on Wednesday, June 5, as an appellate court in Florence, Italy reportedly ruled to uphold the ruling related to the 2007 murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 15:31:18 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 15:31:18

Amanda Knox's bid to overturn a 2009 slander conviction failed short on Wednesday, June 5, as an appellate court in Florence, Italy reportedly ruled to uphold the ruling related to the 2007 murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

The former exchange student, who had hoped to clear her name for the last time, was consoled by her husband Christopher Robinson as she broke down in tears in the wake of the court's decision, the BBC reported.

She was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday, though will not serve any more jail time as it counts as time served according to the Associated Press. But Knox is on the line to pay legal fees and compensation.

"Amanda's very upset," her lawyer, Carlo della Vedova, told the Today show's chief international correspondent Keir Simmons after the verdict, noting that she was too emotional to speak to the press. "We're very surprised of the outcome of the decision."

He added that he was going to evaluate the written decision from the court that outlines how the jury came to the decision before deciding whether they'd appeal again.

Knox, 36, spent almost four years incarcerated in Italy after she and her boyfriend of one week at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, were wrongfully convicted for Kercher's death. Three jury trials later, their murder convictions were reversed in 2011 and in 2015, the pair were officially exonerated by the Cassation Court, Italy’s highest court.

But while being questioning for 53 hours by Italian police in the wake of her arrest, Knox — who didn't speak Italian fluently — had wrongly accused her boss, Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba, of murdering Kercher. Though she quickly recanted her accusation, Lumumba spent a two weeks in jail before his alibi was established. She was convicted of slander in 2009, while still in prison.

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The retrial of the case began in a Florence appeals court back in April.

In court, Knox recounted the police interrogation, NBC News reported, calling it her "worst nightmare." She said that she was questioned in a language she "barely knew" and was "a scared girl."

“When I couldn’t remember the details, one of the officers gave me a little smack on the head and shouted, ‘remember, remember,’ " Knox claimed on the stand, according to the Daily Beast. She then alleged that she was "deceived by the police and led not to trust her own memories" during the interrogation. "And then I put together a jumble of memories and the police made me sign a statement. I was forced to submit. It had been a violation of my rights."

The mother of two — who has gone on to become a successful podcaster and advocate for criminal justice — told the appeals court that she was "sorry" she had not tried harder to retract her accusation, CNN reported. "I did not know who the assassin was," she said, explaining that she was only 20-years-old at the time and in an existential crisis.

During her 2007 interrogation, Knox signed two statements prepared by police that pinned the murder on Lumumba. She later cast doubt on the accusation in a handwritten note she penned.

Kercher was found dead with 40 stab wounds in the apartment she shared with Knox. The real killer, Rudy Guede was convicted of Kercher's murder in a separate 2008 trial and was sentenced to areduced sentence. He waseventually released from prisonin November, 2021, perThe Guardian.

Knox's appeal case began only after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2023 that her rights were violated during her interrogation. Italy’s Supreme Court ordered the retrial.

“I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me," Knox wrote on social media ahead of the hearing. "Wish me luck.” 

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