Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Freed French Hostages: Celebration and Speculation on how it all happened

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Justine Dupont, surfer

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Guillaume Poitrinal, Chief executive of Woodeum

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria

Read more

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues internet giants

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shocking revelations on South Korean ferry disaster provoke scathing editorials

Read more

HIGH PROFILE

Olivier Poussier, winner, world's best sommelier (2000)

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Peugeot-Citroën hopes for sales boost at Beijing auto show

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over 'shoe-shine scandal'

Read more

  • Boston readies for first marathon since bombings

    Read more

  • Deadly shootout in eastern Ukraine threatens Geneva deal

    Read more

  • S.Korea president says captain’s action akin to ‘murder’

    Read more

  • Syria to hold presidential election on June 3

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • Video: Ukraine crisis overshadows Easter celebrations

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

Europe

Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito convicted again of Meredith Kercher murder

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-01-31

An Italian court on Thursday found American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty in a retrial for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months in jail and Sollecito 25 years.

Six years of trials and investigations have so far failed to clear up the mysteries surrounding the death of British citizen Kercher, 21, who was found stabbed to death in her bedroom in the student flat she shared with Knox in the Italian town of Perugia in 2007.

But after nearly 12 hours of deliberations, the Florence court on Thursday reinstated the guilty verdict first handed down to the pair in 2009. Knox, 26, and Sollecito, 29, then spent almost four years in jail, but the verdicts were overturned on appeal in 2011 and Knox immediately returned home to the United States.

Thursday's verdict came after Italy’s highest court quashed the 2011 appeal ruling due to what it called “contradictions and inconsistencies” and ordered a retrial.

In a statement issued from Seattle, where Knox is  studying at the University of Washington, she said she was frightened and saddened by her “unjust” murder conviction.

Knox has denied any involvement in the brutal killing of Kercher and previously declared she would remain a “fugitive” if found guilty.

She said she was “frightened and saddened by the unjust verdict'' and blamed “overzealous and intransigent prosecution'' as well as a “narrow-minded” investigation and coercive interrogation techniques.

“This has gotten out of hand,'' Knox said in a statement. “Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system.''

The lawyers representing Knox and Sollecito have vowed to appeal the ruling to Italy’s highest court.

The court will publish the reasons for its verdict in 90 days.

‘Foxy Knoxy’

Knox was arrested four days after Kercher’s half-naked body was discovered on November 2, 2007, in Kercher's bedroom. Knox has been portrayed both as a she-devil bent on sexual adventure and as a naïf caught up in Italy’s Byzantine justice system.

The case has played out through the media as much as through the courts, propelling Knox and Sollecito to something approaching celebrity status in their home countries.

US commentators have accused the Italian judicial system of a case of misapplied justice and double jeopardy, while Italians and British observers have jumped on the image encoded in the US defendant’s pre-trial moniker, ''foxy Knoxy".

The Kercher family has repeatedly called for the full truth to come out about the case. Sollecito was present in the court earlier in the day but wasn't there for the verdict, while Knox awaited the ruling in Seattle.

DNA evidence

Lawyers for Sollecito and Knox argue that only one person is guilty of the murder: Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence for sexually assaulting and stabbing Kercher. His trial found that he did not act alone because of the number and variety of Kercher’s more than 40 wounds.

The initial case argued that Knox and Sollecito had killed Kercher in a sex game gone awry, but the prosecution has moved away from this interpretation in the current appeal.

The retrial focused on a re-examination of DNA evidence. In closing defence arguments, Sollecito’s lawyer argued that a trace of his client’s DNA on a metal hook on Kercher’s bra clasp was there due to contamination, because it was not collected from the crime scene until more than a month after the murder and was repeatedly touched.

The defence and prosecution contest whether Kercher’s DNA was on the blade of a kitchen knife from Sollecito’s apartment, which had been used by Knox.

The case may not be over for some years to come. Italy’s high court will have to confirm the ruling to make it definitive.

Italy could ask for Knox to be extradited to serve any sentence, but her legal team is likely to challenge this.

Additionally, Knox has appealed her slander conviction to the European Court of Human Rights, one of a plethora of spin-off cases from the trial. 

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP, AFP)

Date created : 2014-01-30

  • ITALY-US

    Knox and Sollecito to be retried for Kercher murder

    Read more

  • AMANDA KNOX

    World’s media divided on Amanda Knox

    Read more

  • JUSTICE

    Knox heads home to US after dramatic acquittal

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)