Knox despairs at prison 'limbo' in new book

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The Independent Online

Amanda Knox, the 23-year-old American serving 26 years for the killing of British student Meredith Kercher, talks of her longing for a normal life in extracts from a new book that have appeared ahead of her appeal.

She says that her days in jail feel like "limbo" – suspended between her old life and her hopes for the future. "I miss my family. I have friends who are like brothers and sisters to me. I want to live," she says.

The extracts were taken from the book, Take Me With You - Talks with Amanda Knox in Prison, which was penned by the Italian politician and Italy-USA Foundation president Rocco Girlanda, who has visited Ms Knox frequently in prison in the past 12 months.

The Ansa news agency, which published the extracts yesterday, said there were to be no explicit references to her case, which is due to go to the first of the two appeals she is allowed on 24 November. Ms Knox was convicted in December last year of the 2007 murder and sexual assault of her housemate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, central Italy.

Ms Knox's former boyfriend, the Italian Raffaele Sollecito, was convicted alongside Knox and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Last week it emerged that magistrates had given the two permission to talk on the telephone. A third man, Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivory Coast citizen, was convicted in a separate, earlier trial and sentenced to 30 years in prison – which was cut to 16 years on appeal.

All three have maintained their innocence. Protests about the convictions of Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito, focussed on the apparent paucity of forensic evidence linking them to the murder scene, as well as question marks over motives behind the crime.

In the forthcoming book Ms Knox says: "Everybody tells me, 'You're famous.' I answer, 'I'm not Angelina Jolie!' How ugly to be famous for this. I would have preferred to be (famous) for something I built, I achieved."

There are also signs of contrition. "I know I have not always been understandable and that I was guided for too long by stubborn ingenuity which created confusion," she says in one passage that appears to allude to the dishonesty that saw her sentence lengthened. The judge raised it from 25 to 26 years because she lied in accusing innocent barman Patrick Lumumba of the killing.

News of its publication brought a terse response from Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca. "We certainly don't feel there was a need for this book," he said.

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