Amanda Knox guilty: 'I am frightened and saddened by the unjust verdict'
Knox had said the Italian courts will have to pull her back 'kicking and screaming', before she was found guilty for a second time, along with ex boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, of the murder of Meredith Kercher
Amanda Knox has said she is ‘frightened and saddened’ after being sensationally declared guilty for a second time of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007, with whom she had shared a flat in Perugia, Italy.
In the latest twist in the tortuous legal process, an appeals court in Florence ruled that Knox, 26, and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, took part in the killing of Ms Kercher, 21.
Knox was not in court. She returned home to Seattle after the first appeal trial overturned her 2009 conviction. Sollecito has had his passport confiscated after being found in a hotel near the Italian border, but will not yet return to prison.
Speaking before the verdict was read out, Knox told BBC’s Newsnight programme: “I'm definitely not going back willingly. They will have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don't deserve to be in.”
If the verdict is finalised in the Supreme Court - the same court which ordered the third trial after the pair’s guilty verdict was quashed by the first appeals court - Italy will seek Knox’s extradition.
Meredith Kercher, who was murdered in 2007 (AP)
Calling the verdict “unjust”, Knox said: “Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, nothing has changed. There has always been a marked lack of evidence. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution.”
Knox was handed 28 years and six months and Sollecito a 25-year jail term.
One of Sollecito’s lawyers, Luca Maori, condemned the verdict and said the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that his client was guilty. “This was a verdict devoid of sense,” he said.
Ms Kercher’s brother, Lyle, who was in the court for the verdict, said he would not be able to forgive those responsible for his sister’s death.
In an interview with Sky News, Mr Kercher said: “I think you’d have to be a very strong-willed – arguably religious – person to find that forgiveness. I think it is so easily forgotten what happened to Meredith. When I read reports even now, I find myself skimming past the paragraphs that refer to what actually happened to her because it is so horrific.”
Amanda Knox, pictured here in 2011, was not present in the courtroom for the verdict (Reuters)
The jury, of two judges and six lay people, took far longer than the expected eight hours to arrive at the verdict, indicating some disagreement.
Kercher, 21, was found dead in a pool of blood in the bedroom of the apartment she and Knox shared in the town of Perugia, where they were studying. Kercher had been sexually assaulted and her throat slashed.
The original trial in 2009 relied on DNA evidence, confused alibis and Knox’s false accusation against a Congolese bar owner. The pair were convicted and spent four years in prison.
Prosecutors originally argued that Kercher was killed in a drug-fueled sex game gone wrong, but in the latest trial, a new prosecutor instead argued that the violence stemmed from arguments between roommates Knox and Kercher about cleanliness.
- 1 Universities aren't working us hard enough, say undergraduates
- 2 Lego letter from the 1970s still offers a powerful message to parents 40 years later
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Grayson Perry: London needs affordable housing because 'rich people don't create culture'
Oscar Pistorius terrorised Reeva before he shot her dead, says June Steenkamp
Audacious North Korean kidnap plot foiled at Paris airport as 'Asian men' attempted to bundle student onto plane
Heroin to be prescribed to Canadian addicts by doctors
Tower Bridge glass walkway 'smashed' by night-time visitor dropping bottle of beer
Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby – through the stories of his accusers
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This an exciting opportunity to...
£28000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Lift Engineer is required to jo...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company (Microsoft World W...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncappd Comm: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...