Domenica, 23 Settembre 2018
ROME

Knox, Sollecito face retrial, acquittals scrapped

English
© ANSA

Rome, March 25 - Italy's supreme Court of Cassation
on Tuesday overturned the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele
Sollecito for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia and
ordered a new appeal trial.
The Cassation scrapped the Perugia appeals court's 2011
decision to quash the 26-year and 25-year sentences Knox and
Sollecito were handed respectively at the original trial in
2009.
The Italian court of last instance said the new appeal
trial will take place in Florence.
Knox, 25, said she was pained but she added that she was
confident she would eventually be proclaimed innocent.
"It was painful to receive the news that the Italian
Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the
prosecution's theory of my involvement in Meredith's murder has
been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair,"
Knox said in a statement issued via a family spokesman.
"No matter what happens, my family and I will face this
continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the
truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful
accusations and unreasonable adversity," Knox said.
The American, who is a student at the University of
Washington, stayed up until 2 a.m. local time in her home city
of Seattle to find out the decision. She could face a demand for
extradition if the conviction is reinstated.
Kercher's sister, on the other hand, wept tears of joy.
''I am happy and I want to understand,'' Stephanie Kercher
told the lawyer representing the family, Francesco Maresca.
Leeds University exchange student Kercher was found
with her throat cut on November 2, 2007 in the house she shared
with Knox in the central Italian town of Perugia.
Rudy Guede, now 26, a native of the African nation of Ivory
Coast, is in prison after being convicted separately from Knox
and Sollecito and sentenced to 16 years in jail for the murder.
In the final verdict against Guede, whose DNA was detected
all over the murder house, he was found to have committed the
crime "with others", during an alleged sex game that got out of
hand.
"This decision will help to get to the final, definitive
truth about Meredith's murder," said Francesco Maresca, the
lawyer representing the Kercher family.
"There were other people with Guede. The judges will say
who they are. This is a trial victory and a moral victory".
Prosecutors said Monday that the judgement of Perugia's
appeals court was "a rare concentration of violations of the law
and of a lack of logic and I think (the acquittal decision) must
be undone".
In a detailed explanation of its decision, the Perugia
court had said the evidence against the pair "does not allow us
to come to the conclusion that guilt has been in any way
proven".
The Perugia court said that the evidence was largely
circumstantial and prosecutors had been unable to prove motive.
Knox's DNA was found on a knife prosecutors claim was the
murder weapon, while Sollecito's was found on the victim's
severed bra clasp.
But the pair's defence have always claimed the DNA evidence
was contaminated during the investigation.
''This trial has been an uphill battle from the start and
we are climbing one step at a time,'' said high-profile Italian
lawyer and former MP Giulia Bongiorno, a member of the team
representing Sollecito, who turned 29 on Tuesday.
''Of course today, on Raffaele's birthday, we hoped to hear
the final word, also because the appeal sentence was coherent
and logical,'' she continued.
''However the decision by the Cassation does not represent
a conviction.
''We will not start again from scratch. Only when we read
the motivation for the sentence will it be possible to
understand the grounds for the new appeals trial''.
Courts often publish the explanations of their decisions
months after they are announced.
Knox's appeal against a three-year prison sentence for
calumny was rejected by the Cassation, which means the
conviction has become definitive.
Knox has already served the sentence for having falsely
accused a Perugia pub owner, Congo native Patrick Lumumba, in
the early stages of the investigation.

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