Amanda Knox cries as she loses bid to overturn slander conviction

Amanda Knox has lost her bid to overturn a slander conviction in Italy.
The American woman was eventually cleared of the brutal 2007 murder of her flatmate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, in the apartment they shared in the Italian university town of Perugia.

But she was only released, in 2011, after four years in prison in Italy.
The slander conviction for wrongly accusing a Congolese bar owner of the murder during an interrogation was the only charge against Knox that withstood five court rulings that ultimately exonerated her.

Image: Meredith Kercher. Pic: PA
What does court ruling mean for Knox?
Knox and her husband were surrounded by photographers as they and her legal team entered the courtroom before the hearing. The 36-year-old is now a mother of two small children.
The Italian court found Knox guilty of slander and issued a three-year sentence.
She had been sentenced to three years for wrongly accusing the bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, of the killing of Ms Kercher in an earlier case. Knox had worked part-time for Mr Lumumba at the time of the killing.
She will not serve any more jail time as the sentence counts as time she has already served in prison.
Knox cried and hugged her husband after the verdict was read out in court.
Her lawyer said: “Amanda is very upset, she was hoping to finally clear her name.”

Image: Knox before the verdict. Pic: Reuters
‘I was a scared girl’
Knox had argued in court in Florence this week that her slander conviction should be overturned because of her treatment by police.
“I have been unjustly convicted,” Knox earlier told the court in an emotional voice.
She said the night of the murder “was my worst night”. She added: “The house where I lived was transformed into a murder scene and my friend was transformed into a victim of terrible violence. I was shocked.”
Knox said she was interrogated “for hours at night in a language I barely knew,” adding: “When I couldn’t remember the details, one of the officers gave me a little smack on the head and shouted ‘remember, remember’ and then I put together a jumble of memories and the police made me sign a statement I was forced to submit.”
She added: “I’m sorry that I wasn’t strong and that I couldn’t resist the pressure from the police… I was a scared girl, deceived by the police and led not to trust her own memories. I humbly ask the court to declare me innocent.”
Along with her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, Knox was convicted of the murder of Ms Kercher in 2007. Both were acquitted of the crime in 2011 and then fully exonerated in 2015.
She has since established herself in the US as an advocate, writer, podcaster and producer – with much of her work drawing on her experience in the Italian legal system.
Read more:Raffaele Sollecito gives rare interview on being wrongly accusedAmanda Knox jokes about time she was accused of murder on Instagram

Image: Diya ‘Patrick’ Lumumba (left). File pic: AP
Statement written under ‘shock, stress and extreme exhaustion’
While Knox and Mr Sollecito were definitively acquitted of murder by Italy’s highest court in 2015, her conviction for slander against Mr Lumumba was not rescinded.
A year later, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled a long night of questioning days after Ms Kercher’s murder violated Knox’s rights because she was questioned without a lawyer or official translator.
In light of this, Italy’s Supreme Court overturned the slander conviction last year and ordered a retrial.

Image: Pic: Reuters
The new trial, which started last April, focused on just one piece of evidence: Knox’s four-page handwritten statement that the court examined to see if it contained elements to support slander against Mr Lumumba.
He was held in jail for two weeks after Ms Kercher’s death before police released him and he has since left Italy.
The letter, which Knox wrote in a 53-hour span of questioning over four days starting on 6 November 2007, reflects a state of confusion.
“In regards to this ‘confession’ that I made last night, I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity [sic] of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion,” Knox wrote.

‘There may still be a culprit at large’
Rudy Guede, from the Ivory Coast, was convicted in 2008 of the sexual assault and murder of Ms Kercher. His DNA was found at the scene. Guede was released from prison in 2021 after serving 13 years of a 16-year term.
He was recently ordered to wear a monitoring bracelet and not leave his home at night after an ex-girlfriend accused him of physical and sexual abuse. An investigation is ongoing.
Former Perugia public prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, who led the investigation into Ms Kercher’s murder, told Sky News during the opening hearing that “there may still be a culprit who took part in the murder and who has not been discovered yet”.

Source : Sky News