The acquittal of Amanda Knox, 25, in a notorious 2007 murder case in the Umbrian city of Perugia will be reviewed Monday by Italy‘s top appeals court. Prosecutors are challenging a lower court’s acquittal of American Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, charged in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, 21, on November 2, 2007.
It has been more than a year since Amanda Knox was cleared of murder charges in an Italian court, but the legal drama for the Seattle woman is not yet over. Italian prosecutors appealing Knox’s release from prison are due to appear in court Monday in Rome, where they will argue to have her murder conviction reinstated.
Knox, 25, was convicted in December 2009 for the 2007 murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher in the Italian city of Perugia. Knox’s Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted. The pair was freed from prison four years later in October 2011 when an Italian appeals court threw out the guilty verdict and criticized the prosecution’s case. A third person, Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate trial and is serving a 16 year prison sentence. Guede’s DNA was found on Kercher’s body, clothing and purse, and his bloody shoeprints and handprints were left in her bedroom. There was no DNA of Knox in the bedroom where her roommate was murdered.
Knox, now a student at the University of Washington, will not be present for Monday’s hearing. If prosecutors are successful, Knox and Sollecito will face a re-trial. If the Supreme Court upholds Knox and Sollecito’s acquittal, their legal battle is officially over. The Supreme Court is the third – and final – step in the Italian judicial process.
Knox’s defense team has also appealed the slander conviction she received for accusing her former boss, Patrick Lumumba, of Kercher’s murder. Knox testified in 2009 that she accused Lumumba only after she was hit in the head and yelled at during a nearly 50-hour long interrogation. Knox served her three-year sentence for the slander conviction during the four years she spent in prison. If her slander conviction is overturned, Knox can seek compensation for false imprisonment.
Since her 2011 release from prison, Knox has resumed her life in Seattle, taking classes and spending time with her family and boyfriend, James Terrano. Her memoir,”Waiting to Be Heard,” published by HarperCollins, will be released April 30. She reportedly received an advance of $4 million for the book. Knox’s first interview since she was freed will air during a primetime special on Tuesday, April 30 at 10 p.m., ET on the ABC Television Network.
Sources: ANSA, ABC