American Amanda Knox is facing calls from the Italian justice system to be tried again for murder – her and Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.
The case of slain British student Meredith Kercher aroused criticism of the Italian authorities between 2007 and 2011.
The pair were first found guilty, then acquitted. Now that acquittal has been overturned.
Her lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said how determined Knox was: “She thought this was the end of a nightmare, but she is also very strong, in the sense that she is willing to fight again. She did all this up to now, so we’ll continue to fight.”
Giulia Bongiorno, Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer said: “The fight is not over yet.”
The Italian system allows for a defendant to be tried twice on the same charge, though the reasoning behind the retrial decision remains to be made public.
The victim’s half-naked body was found in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, a town in central Italy, in 2007. Prosecutors accused Knox and Sollecito of killing the 21-year-old Leeds University student. Meredith Kercher had been repeatedly stabbed, and raped, this act leading to the arrest of a third suspect, Ivorian Rudy Guede.
The prosecutors in the first trial made a case that Kercher had refused to participate in sex play. It was maintained that drugs and alcohol were involved. The couple always protested their innocence but were found guilty in 2009. They were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, respectively.
Then, in 2011, their convictions were quashed after forensic experts challenged evidence in the original trial. There were accusations the police investigation had been badly messed up, with evidence mishandled and contaminated.
Guede was found guilty and is now the only person still serving a murder sentence.
Knox and Sollecito were released after four years in prison. She returned to her home near Seattle immediately afterwards. Her family has a book of memoirs ready to publish.
On her return, Knox said: “What’s important for me to say is just ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s believed in me, who’s defended me and who’s supported my family.”
An American production company made a television film about Knox.
Many aspects of the killing remain unexplained.
The victim’s family lawyer welcomed the retrial decision and said it would provide an opportunity to find out what happened to Kercher.
The defence argued that no clear motive or evidence linking the defendants to the crime had emerged, and said Knox was falsely implicated in the murder by prosecutors determined to convict her regardless of the evidence.
Knox has not said if she will go back to Italy.