Italian High Court overturns Amanda Knox murder conviction
ROME, (CNN) — [Breaking news update, posted at 8:24 p.m. ET]
Amanda Knox, whose murder conviction was overturned Friday by Italy’s Supreme Court, issued a statement saying she was “relieved and grateful” because of the decision. She thanked family and friends for their support and said, “The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal.”
[Previous story, posted at 6:10 p.m. ET]
Italy’s Supreme Court has overturned the murder conviction of American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of her British roommate, the court announced late Friday.
Knox, 27, of Seattle, was convicted in 2009 for the killing of British student Meredith Kercher, who shared an apartment with her in the Italian university town of Perugia. Knox’s boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, had been found guilty, too.
The case is now closed, the court said, and both Knox and Sollecito are free to go.
Thus ends an eight-year legal saga that gripped the United States, Britain and Italy.
The semi-naked body of the 21-year-old Kercher, her throat slashed, was found in November 2007 at the home she shared with Knox in Perugia.
Prosecutors in Perugia said Knox directed Sollecito and another man infatuated with her, Rudy Guede, to hold Kercher down as Knox played with a knife before slashing Kercher’s throat.
Both Sollecito and Knox were convicted in 2009 and sentenced to lengthy jail terms. Guede, a drifter originally from the Ivory Coast, was tried separately and is serving a 16-year sentence.
Then, after the evidence was re-examined, an appeals court quashed the two students’ convictions in October 2011, citing a lack of evidence against them, and both were set free to return to a “normal” life.
Two years later, they were retried and their acquittals overturned. Knox was sentenced in absentia to 28½ years in prison. Her ex-boyfriend got 25 years.
By Ralph Ellis and Hada Messia of CNN
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report