Amanda Knox faces a new libel trial in Italy that may remove the latest legal stigma against her

MILAN (AP) — Amanda Knox faces another defamation trial this week in Italy in a case that could remove the last legal stain against her after eight years. The highest court in Italy Her conviction for the murder of her 21-year-old British flatmate was overturned.

Knox, who was a 20-year-old student when she and her then-boyfriend were charged with the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007, has built a life back in the United States as an advocate, writer, podcast host and producer — with much of her work drawing on her experience.

Now 36 and a mother of two young children, Knox campaigns for criminal justice reform and raising awareness about forced confessions. She's recorded a series about resilience for a meditation app, has a podcast with her husband, Christopher Robinson, and an upcoming mini-series about her struggles inside the Italian legal system for Hulu, for which Monica Lewinsky serves as an executive producer.

Despite the final ruling by the Italian Court of Cassation in 2015 that Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito did not commit the crime, and the conviction of another man whose DNA was at the scene, doubts remain about Knox's role, especially in Italy.

This is largely due to a libel conviction for wrongly accusing a Congolese bar owner of murder, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2015. That conviction was only overturned last November based on European Court of Human Rights The ruling found that Knox's rights had been violated in a long night of interrogation without a lawyer and an official translator.

So far, Knox remains unsure that the acquittal in the new trial, which begins Wednesday in Florence, will convince her critics.

See also  Red Cross heads again to Mariupol as Russia shifts focus to Ukraine

“On the one hand, I'm glad I got this opportunity to clear my name, and I hope it takes away the stigma that I've been living with,” Knox, who did not respond to an interview request, said on her podcast. Mazes in December.

“On the other hand, I don't know if it will happen or not, I'm still traumatized by it. I'm sure people will still hold this against me because they don't want to understand what happened, and they don't want to accept the possibility of setting an innocent person on fire and coercing them.” For what I went through.

Knox said on her podcast that she expected to testify, but her attorney said she was not expected to be in court on opening day.

The Kercher family's lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said the Supreme Court acquittal did little in his mind to dispel doubts after Knox was convicted by a lower court and two appeals courts, the first affirming her 26-year prison sentence and the second raising it to 28 1/2 years. .

“This trial never ends,” Maresca told the Associated Press, clouding “the memory of poor Meredith, who is always remembered for these procedural aspects and not as a student and a young woman.”

Among his doubts, Maresca pointed to Knox's bemused retraction of her accusations against the Congolese bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, and the ruling convicting Rudi Guede of Kercher's murder that confirms the Ivorian man did not act alone.

Guede, now 36, has been released Prison in 2021 After serving 13 years of a 16-year prison sentence handed down in a speedy trial. It was Guidi I ordered recently By wearing a monitoring bracelet and not leaving his house at night after his ex-girlfriend accused him of physical and sexual assault. The investigation is ongoing.

See also  China praises Putin's leadership and calls for stability in Russia - Politico

Knox's new trial will admit only one piece of evidence: her four-page handwritten statement, which the court will examine to see if it contains elements that support libel against Lumumba. He was held in prison for two weeks before the police released him. Lumumba has since left Italy.

Italy's highest court ruled that two previous statements written by the police and signed by Knox in the early hours of November 7, 2007, containing the accusation, were inadmissible and were considered the most damning.

The four-page letter, written during the same 53-hour interrogation period over four days beginning November 6, reflects a person in a state of confusion trying to reconcile what police told her with her own memories.

“With regard to this ‘confession’ I made last night, I want to make clear that I highly doubt the veracity of my statements because they were made under the pressure of stress, shock, and extreme exhaustion,” Knox wrote. .

She referred to police statements that she would be arrested and imprisoned for 30 years and that Sollecito was turning against her.

Lauria Baldassari, an Italian lawyer who founded the Innocents Project, said the issue of wrongful convictions in Italy has begun to “raise social concern because it is taking on important dimensions.” He pointed to 10 cases in which defendants won damages for wrongful conviction over the past decade, but said they had difficulty escaping the stigma that accompanied their initial guilty verdict.

“There is still a part of public opinion that does not accept the decision of the Court of Cassation, and these debates have become sports,” said Baldassari, whose organization is independent of the Innocence Project, with which Knox works. “Italy does not have the maturity to accept an acquittal, because social prejudices are stronger than the result.”

See also  Germany: Iranian arrested on suspicion of involvement in chemical attack plot

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *