Italian Court Goes After Amanda Knox Again, Convicts Her Again

Amanda Knox wept as she was re-convicted of slandering a bar owner in a case related to the tragic 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Knox, 36, attended the court in Italy for the retrial, hoping to clear her name “once and for all.”

Seattle-born Knox, along with her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, was convicted of murder in their first trial in 2009 but was ultimately exonerated by Italy’s highest court in 2015. Rudy Guede was also convicted of Kercher’s murder and was sentenced to 16 years before being freed in 2021 after serving 13 years.

However, Knox’s 2011 slander conviction relating to Patrick Lumumba, whom she accused of killing Kercher, still hung over her head.

Knox apologized to the court, explaining that she had wrongly accused Lumumba after being put under intense police pressure for hours. She expressed regret, saying, “I am very sorry that I was not strong enough to resist the pressure of police.”

Despite her apology, the court reconvicted her of slander. Although she will not have to serve additional jail time, her lawyers stated that Knox is “embittered, upset, and surprised” and may appeal the decision.

In a prepared statement, Knox told the panel, “I am very sorry that I was not strong enough to resist the pressure of police. I didn’t know who the murderer was. I had no way to know.” She recounted the police threats of 30 years in prison and being slapped during questioning. Knox emphasized that she never intended to slander Lumumba, whom she considered a friend.

Lumumba’s lawyers argued that his reputation was severely damaged by Knox’s accusation, regardless of her intentions. Carlo Pacelli, Lumumba’s lawyer, stated, “When Patrick was accused by Amanda, he became known everywhere as the monster of Perugia.”

Knox’s lawyer responded to the verdict by highlighting the disappointment at the outcome after 17 years of judicial procedures. They indicated that they would carefully review the motivation behind the court’s decision, which will be available in 60 days.

The murder of Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old University of Leeds student, garnered global attention as suspicion initially fell on Knox and Sollecito. They were convicted in 2007, acquitted in 2011, found guilty again in 2014, and ultimately exonerated in 2015. Knox, now a mother of two and a podcast host with her husband, campaigns against wrongful convictions.

Before the retrial, Knox took to social media, expressing her determination to defend herself and clear her name from the false charges. Despite her exoneration and Guede’s conviction, doubts about her involvement persisted, especially in Italy.

The retrial was set by a European court ruling in 2019, which found that Italy violated Knox’s human rights during her initial questioning, depriving her of legal representation and a competent translator. This ruling led to the reopening of the slander case under a 2022 Italian judicial reform allowing cases with definitive verdicts to be retried if human rights violations are found.

The court was instructed to disregard two statements Knox made under duress, where she implicated Lumumba. However, despite Knox’s attempts to retract her accusation, Lumumba was detained for nearly two weeks. He was released only after evidence proved his innocence.

Patrick Lumumba, now residing in Krakow, Poland, with his family, expressed the lasting impact of Knox’s false accusation on his life and reputation. Despite Guede’s conviction for Kercher’s murder, the slander conviction against Knox has continued to cast a shadow over her, particularly in Italy.

Meredith Kercher’s family, who lost both parents in 2020, issued a tribute emphasizing that Meredith will always be in their thoughts. Guede, released from prison in 2021 after serving 13 years of a 16-year sentence, has recently faced allegations of physical and sexual abuse by an ex-girlfriend, with an investigation ongoing.


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