Amanda Knox sentenced to three years for slandering innocent bar owner in the Meredith Kercher murder

5 June 2024, 11:32 | Updated: 5 June 2024, 11:53

Amanda Knox has been sentenced to three years by Italian court after failing to overturn her slander conviction over murder of Meredith Kercher
Amanda Knox has been sentenced to three years by Italian court after failing to overturn her slander conviction over murder of Meredith Kercher. Picture: alamy

By StephenRigley

Amanda Knox has been re-convicted of slander related to the brutal 2007 killing of a British student.

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The American cried in court in Florence as she was sentenced to three years already served for having accused, during police questioning, an innocent bar owner of killing 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.

Knox, now 36, who spent four years in jail for the murder of her flatmate Kercher before her conviction was annulled, had been biding "once and for all" to clear her name after falsely accusing bar owner Patrick Lumumba of the crime.

"The police threatened me with 30 years in prison, an officer slapped me three times saying 'Remember, remember',"

Amanda Knox cries as she arrives at the Florence courtroom in Florence, Italy,
Amanda Knox cries as she arrives at the Florence courtroom in Florence, Italy,. Picture: Alamy
Amanda Knox arrives flanked by her husband Christopher Robinson, right, at the Florence courtroom for the first time today in more than 12 years
Amanda Knox arrives flanked by her husband Christopher Robinson, right, at the Florence courtroom for the first time today in more than 12 years. Picture: Alamy

Read More: Amanda Knox sobs as she returns to Italian court for slander case linked to 2007 murder of British student

Read More: 'Studying abroad is awesome!': Amanda Knox slammed for tweet at writer who hated studying in Italy

Ms Knox told the court earlier, saying that police wanted her to blame Mr Lumumba."I'm very sorry that I wasn't strong enough to withstand the pressure from the police," she added, speaking in Italian.

The killing of 21-year-old Kercher fuelled global headlines as suspicion fell on Knox, then a 20-year-old exchange student from Seattle, and her new Italian boyfriend of just a week, Raffaele Sollecito.

Despite Knox's exoneration and the conviction of an Ivorian man, Rudy Guede, whose footprints and DNA were found at the scene, doubts about her role persist years later, particularly in Italy.

This is largely due to the accusation she made against a Congolese bar owner who employed her part time, a claim that led to her being found guilty of slander.

Knox said on X - formerly Twitter - two days ago: "On June 5th, I will walk into the very same courtroom where I was reconvicted of a crime I didn't commit, this time to defend myself yet again.

"I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me.

"Wish me luck. Crepi il lupo!”

The American was 20 years old when she and Sollecito were arrested for the brutal killing of 21-year-old Kercher, who Knox was sharing a flat with in Perugia.

Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher. Picture: alamy

Meredith Kercher was born in Southwark, South London on December 28, 1985.

Her half-naked body was found in a pool of blood inside the roommates' cottage in November 2007.

Her throat had been slit and she had suffered multiple stab wounds.Knox was found guilty, acquitted, found guilty again, and then finally cleared of all charges in 2015 - but still had a conviction for slander.

The slander conviction related to her blaming Kercher's murder on a local bar owner, Patrick Lumumba, during initial police questioning.

Lumumba was held for two weeks in 2007 before he was freed without charge, as Knox claimed she named him while under duress.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2019 that there had been procedural errors during Knox's questioning.Knox was pictured in tears as she arrived at the Florence court this morning, flanked by her husband Christopher Robinson.

She is expected to appear in the same courtroom where she was reconvicted of murder in 2014, and to receive a verdict - which both parties will be able to appeal.

Knox, who has two young children, is now a journalist, author, and campaigner for criminal justice reform.

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