Amanda Knox Acquitted Of Meredith Kercher’s Murder
Italy’s highest court rules to reverse the conviction of American Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
American Amanda Knox says she’s “tremendously relieved” after her acquittal by Italy’s top court for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy,” Knox, 27, said in a statement provided by her US-based attorney in which she thanked her supporters.
“The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me.”
Italy’s Court of Cassation on Friday annulled the murder conviction and, in a surprise verdict, acquitted her of the charge. The Court of Cassation threw out the second guilty verdict against Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, for the lethal stabbing.
It had been widely expected that, even if the court overturned the previous convictions, it would order a retrial.
“We want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family,” Knox’s family said in a statement. “Countless people – from world-renowned DNA experts, to former FBI agents, to everyday citizens committed to justice – have spoken about her innocence.”
The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Knox and Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her hometown of Seattle, and Sollecito have long maintained their innocence in the death of Kercher.
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.
“Finished!” Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read out. “It couldn’t be better than this.”
The case has aroused strong interest in three countries for its explosive mix of young love, murder and flip-flop decisions by Italian courts.
Kercher, 21, was found dead November 2, 2007, in the apartment that 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. Eventually another man, Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast, was arrested, tried and convicted of the murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year sentence.
The couple maintained their innocence, insisting that they had spent the evening together at Sollecito’s place watching a movie, smoking marijuana and making love.
Knox and Sollecito were initially convicted by a Perugia court in 2009, then acquitted and freed in 2011, and then convicted again in 2014 in Florence after the Cassation court overturned the acquittals and ordered a new appeals trial.