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Amanda Knox convicted again of defamation

Almost ten years after her acquittal, the American Amanda Knox has been convicted of defamation again in Italy. She is said to have incriminated an innocent barman in the Kercher murder case.

The legal drama surrounding the murder of a British exchange student in Italy in 2007 has taken a new turn after many worldwide headlines: An appeals court in Florence surprisingly sentenced the American Amanda Knox to three years in prison for allegedly defaming an obviously innocent person.

In the main trial, the now 36-year-old – also known as the “angel with the ice-eyed eyes” – had already been found guilty of murder twice. In the final instance, however, she was acquitted of all murder charges in 2015. Now Knox had hoped to be completely cleared of all charges by the Italian justice system.

Prison sentence has already been served

The 36-year-old American burst into tears when the judges in Florence confirmed the previous court's verdict. “I did not expect this. I am very disappointed,” said the American. She had returned to Italy specifically for the trial. But she does not have to go back behind bars: she has already served the three-year prison sentence during her previous stay in Italian prisons.

The murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy made headlines in 2007. The young British woman was found dead in the apartment she shared with three other young women during an exchange semester. Her American roommate, who was only 20 at the time, and her boyfriend at the time quickly came under suspicion.

Knox acquitted in final instance

Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison in an initial trial. After four years in an Italian prison, the conviction was overturned and she was able to return to the USA. However, she was then sentenced again in absentia by an Italian court.

It was not until 2015 that she and her ex-boyfriend were finally acquitted of the murder charge by Italy's highest court – not for lack of evidence, but because the highest judges did not believe they were the perpetrators. At the same time, the Supreme Court of Cassation criticized massive errors in the investigations and in the previous trials.

After her arrest, Knox initially accused an apparently innocent barman who was a friend of hers of the crime, which is why she was sentenced to a further three years in prison for defamation. This ruling was also overturned by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in 2019.

Murder still unsolved

Knox claims that she was under enormous stress after her arrest and that the Italian police pressured her to give false testimony. With the new trial, she wanted to achieve a complete acquittal of the defamation charges – without success.

The murder of the young British woman remains unsolved to this day. A 20-year-old man whose fingerprints were found at the crime scene was convicted of aiding and abetting the murder. He is now free again after 13 years in prison.

The barman left Italy long ago. He did not appear at the trial either. From afar, however, he expressed his satisfaction with the verdict. “It's true, we were friends,” he said. “But you don't stab your friends in the back. And Amanda stabbed me and didn't apologize.”

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