Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Amanda Knox cleared

hero.jpg
rexfeatures_1454802c.jpg
rexfeatures_1455944b.jpg
rexfeatures_837815e.jpg

Amanda Knox has been cleared of the murder and sexual assault of her British flatmate Meredith Kercher in a dramatic court ruling in Perugia last night (3 October) after serving nearly four years in jail.

Knox broke down in tears as she was told she had been found not guilty, in a decision made by two appeal judges and six members of a jury.

Knox's co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito also had his conviction for the murder and sexual assault of Meredith overturned.

The lead appeal judge said that the evidence used to convict them was not reliable.

Rudy Hermann Guede is now the only person out of the trio initially charged for the murder whose conviction has been upheld.

The court room erupted in cheers and was instructed to keep silent as the ruling was announced but outside the court there were some cries of "shame on you" from the waiting crowd, highlighting just how much the case has divided public opinion.

Speaking just after the decision was announced, Amanda's sister Deanna said, "We're thankful Amanda's nightmare is over. She's suffered four years for a crime she didn't commit."

The ruling marks the culmination of an extraordinary and dramatic court case that has descended into something of a media circus over the past four years, commanding endless column inches and dividing opinion.

Knox, 24, spent nearly two years fighting to overturn her 26-year sentence, with much of the appeal focusing on the flawed DNA evidence used to convict her and her former boyfriend, Italian student Sollecito.

In an emotional statement to the court yesterday before the ruling was made, the American student reiterated her innocence in a final plea for freedom.

"Merdith was killed and I have always wanted justice for her... I want truth...," she said, through tears and in fluent Italian. "I want to go back home. I want to go back to my life. I don't want to be punished. I don't want my life and my future taken away for something I didn't do, because I am innocent and Raffaele (her co-accused former boyfriend) is innocent, too."

Meredith was found with her throat slashed in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia in November 2007.

Four days after her body was discovered, police arrested Knox and her then boyfriend, Italian student Raffaele Sollecito. Another man, Rudy Hermann Guede, was later charged over the murder as well. All three were accused of killing Meredith in a violent drug-fuelled sex game that got out of hand.

Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2008, following a fast-track trial. He had admitted being in Meredith's house on the night of the murder and his bloody handprint was found on her pillow.

In December 2009, both Knox and Sollecito were found guilty of murdering Meredith. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito 25 years. Lawyers for the pair immediately launched an appeal.

The appeal process began in early 2010 and focused on the veracity of crucial DNA evidence used to place Knox and Sollecito at the murder scene. Experts called before the court testified that forensic teams made a series of serious mistakes - including wearing dirty gloves and a failure to wear protective caps, which could have contaminated evidence.

Meredith's family arrived in Italy yesterday to hear the verdict. In a news conference beforehand, they said the suffering of Meredith appeared to have been largely forgotten amid the media furore surrounding Knox. They said Meredith had died in fear and terror, adding that, "it is very difficult to forgive anyone at this stage."

Picture credits: Rex Features

Related

rexfeatures_1389181h(2).jpg

Amanda Knox: murder case timeline

rexfeatures_1349859b.jpg

Amanda Knox: the appeal begins

mew-hero.jpg

What makes a woman kill?

Comments

More

Kate Moss bags new role selling street food in Brick Lane

“C’mon, get ya Viet buns”

by Amy Lewis
07 Dec 2016

Scarlett Moffatt praises NHS after 'crazy' Spanish hospital experience

“In other countries, people can’t afford to be well”

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Female MP shares “creepy” letter telling her how to dress

“Hide the skin and people will look you in the eyes”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
07 Dec 2016

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Lady Gaga's supermarket sweep to backstage at the British Fashion Awards

by Nicola Colyer
07 Dec 2016

You need to listen to Cruz Beckham's debut Christmas single

#IfEveryDayWasChristmas

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Amy Schumer pens powerful letter to fat-shaming trolls

“You will not determine my story – I will”

by Kayleigh Dray
07 Dec 2016

Paloma Faith pens emotional letter to NHS following birth of her baby

She made her feelings about the NHS very clear following her emergency C-section

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

Lady Gaga opens up about her struggle with PTSD

The singer says she is still dealing with the psychological impact of being raped.

by Moya Crockett
06 Dec 2016

Bernardo Bertolucci responds to Last Tango in Paris backlash

"This is a ridiculous misunderstanding"

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016

Madonna twerks up a storm with James Corden in new Carpool Karaoke

Watch this material girl get up on the… dashboard?

by Kayleigh Dray
06 Dec 2016