Italy top court: Amanda Knox conviction based on poor case


Italy’s top criminal court on Monday said the murder case of Amanda Knox had “stunning flaws” — and that prosecutors brought it to trial with an “absolute lack of biological traces” tying Knox and her co-defendant, former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, to the murder of Knox’s British roommate.

The five-judge panel, explaining why it threw out the pair’s convictions in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, said they did so in part because there was no proof Knox and Sollecito were in the bedroom where Kercher was fatally stabbed. Knox and Kercher shared an apartment as students in Perugia.
The March ruling cleared Knox and Sollecito once and for all in Kercher’s murder. Carlo Dalla Vedova, one of Knox’s lawyers, said Knox was “very satisfied and happy to read this decision. At the same time, it’s a very sad story. It’s a sad story because Meredith Kercher is no longer with us, and this is a tragedy nobody can forget.”

In a statement issued Monday, Knox said: “I am deeply grateful that the Italian Supreme Court has filed its opinion and forcefully declared my innocence. This has been a long struggle for me, my family, my friends, and my supporters. While I am glad it is now over, I will remain forever grateful to the many individuals who gave their time and talents to help me.”

Knox said she would “now begin the rest of my life with one of my goals being to help others who have been wrongfully accused.” The case began on Nov. 2, 2007, when the body of Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Surrey, England, was found in the bedroom of the apartment she and Knox shared. Kercher’s throat had been cut and she had been sexually assaulted.

The case attracted worldwide attention, with Knox, a native of Washington state, portrayed both as a harmless innocent and a “sex-crazed killer,”.

Italian law requires that the so-called Court of Cassation issue formal written explanations for its rulings. The 52-page legal motivazioni, published on Monday, detailed the reasons for the acquittal of Knox, a U.S. exchange student, and Sollecito, who each served four years in prison for Kercher’s murder before they were released and then retried.

In the statement, the judges said the trial “had oscillations which were the result of stunning flaws, or amnesia, in the investigation and omissions in the investigative activity”. They also said investigators, under intense international media pressure, compromised the investigation. The international spotlight, they wrote, “resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration” that “certainly didn’t help the search for substantial truth.”

Amanda Knox was convicted in 2009 for the murder of her housemate, Meredith Kercher, in Perugia, Umbria, Italy, where they were both students. She served four years of a 26-year sentence before the murder conviction was overturned in October 2011. Now she is working to move on with her life.
They also said prosecutors and lower court judges never established a clear motive for Knox, who is now 28, and Sollecito, 31. Instead, they said, the officials offered a “theory of complicity,” suggesting that Knox had been resentful of Kercher with few facts to back up the assertion.

The judges said evidence in the case pointed to one suspect: Rudy Guede, a drifter from Ivory Coast, who received a 16-year prison sentence for Kercher’s murder following a fast-track trial in 2008.

They said the only crime of which Knox was guilty was the false accusation she made to police days after the killing, in which she blamed her boss, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, a bar owner, for the crime. Lumumba spent two weeks in jail before he was exonerated.


Asmaa Mubita is a Kenyan journalist of international repute with over fifteen years of experience in broadcast journalism. Asmaa Mubita began his journalism career at the Kenyan state broadcaster (KBC) and later worked at the KTN owned by the Standard Group and Citizen Television, the flagship brand of Royal Media Services. These exploits together with his reporting experience with the Voice of America, CNN and BBC have been rewarded with local and global recognition.