Amanda Knox Vows To Fight Slander Conviction Imposed By Italian Court

Amanda Knox Vows To Fight Slander Conviction Imposed By Italian Court

By Isabelle Wilson-

Amanda Knox, (pictured)the American woman who spent years entangled in Italy’s legal system over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, has declared the Italian court’s decision to uphold her slander conviction as “unfair and incorrect.” Speaking out after her appeal was rejected, Knox, 36, promised to continue her fight against what she describes as an enduring injustice.

On Wednesday, Knox exited the Florence appeals court through a back door and cancelled a scheduled press conference after judges upheld her conviction for falsely accusing Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, of the 2007 murder. In an exclusive interview with Sky TG24, filmed near Perugia where Kercher was killed, Knox expressed her profound disappointment with the court’s decision.

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“I haven’t slept,” Knox said. “I feel sad but I’m determined. I have nothing to hide and I will never stop telling the truth. I didn’t slander Patrick. I didn’t kill my friend. I will come back here as many times as I have to in order to fight against this injustice.”

Knox’s legal troubles began in November 2007 when Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Coulsdon, south London, was found murdered in the home she shared with Knox in Perugia. Kercher’s body was discovered in her bedroom, partly undressed with multiple stab wounds, and she had been sexually assaulted.

Knox, then a 20-year-old student with limited Italian language skills, and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were initially convicted of Kercher’s murder. They spent four years in prison before their convictions were overturned on appeal in 2011. They were definitively acquitted in 2015.

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Despite being cleared of murder, Knox was convicted of slander for accusing Lumumba, who owned a bar where she worked part-time, of the crime. Lumumba was jailed for two weeks before being exonerated after a witness provided an alibi. Knox served her slander sentence during her initial imprisonment.

Appeal Based on ECHR Ruling

Knox’s recent appeal sought to overturn the slander conviction based on a 2019 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which found that her defense rights had been violated during police questioning. The ECHR concluded that Knox did not have proper legal assistance or an interpreter and had been subjected to police duress. Italy’s top court ordered a retrial of the slander charge in October 2022, leading to the current appeal process.

Knox alleges that she was “psychologically tortured” by the police during her interrogation, describing it as the worst experience of her life. She argued that her accusation against Lumumba was made under extreme pressure and without proper legal safeguards.

Knox’s determination to clear her name is underscored by her comments to Sky TG24: “It was the worst experience of my life. They made me think I was crazy. I’ve been unjustly accused for 17 years. That is, my entire adult life. I spent four years in prison as an innocent person.”

Addressing those who doubt her innocence, Knox implored people to examine the legal documents: “If people really took the time to see the documents then they will believe in my innocence and not in a fantasy that doesn’t exist. I’m not foxy Knoxy, I’m Amanda Knox.”

Knox’s case has had significant international attention and implications for justice and human rights. The persistence of her legal battles highlights the challenges individuals can face within foreign legal systems, especially when language barriers and procedural violations are involved.

Rudy Guede, the only person definitively convicted of Kercher’s murder, was released from prison in November 2021 after serving 13 years of a 16-year sentence. This fact further complicates the public perception and legal narrative surrounding the case.

 

 

 

Image: AFP

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