Amanda Knox vows to ‘fight for truth’ after slander conviction

7 June 2024, 08:54

Amanda Knox arrives at court in Florence, with her husband and a lawyer
Italy Knox. Picture: PA

The US woman who was a flatmate of murdered Meredith Kercher said her false accusation stemmed from a confession that violated her human rights.

Amanda Knox has told Italian TV that she was surprised by a Florence appeals court’s decision to find her guilty of slander in light of a European court ruling that police who took her confession had violated her human rights.

“I will fight for the truth,” Ms Knox told Sky TG24 in her first public comments since the guilty verdict on Wednesday.

“It’s been 17 years that I have been unjustly accused.”

Ms Knox was a 20-year-old exchange student in the university town of Perugia in November 2007 when she and her then-Italian boyfriend were accused of murdering her housemate, 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher, who was found dead in the apartment they shared.

Meredith Kercher
Meredith Kercher was murdered in 2007 (Family handout/PA)

After years of flip-flop trials, they were both exonerated in 2015, but the slander conviction endured against Ms Knox for wrongly accusing an innocent man, the Congolese bar owner who employed her part-time.

She served four years in prison before being freed on an earlier acquittal in 2011, covering the three-year slander sentence.

Another man, Rudy Hermann Guede of Ivory Coast, was convicted of killing Ms Kercher and served 13 years of a 16-year sentence.

Ms Knox, now 36, appeared in the Florence court on Wednesday when she was reconvicted of slandering bar owner Patrick Lumumba, who was held for two weeks on suspicion of murder before police released him with an iron-clad alibi.

Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox was 20 years old when she was initially accused of killing Ms Kercher – she was completely exonerated years later (AP)

Italy’s highest court ordered the retrial after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that her human rights had been violated during a long night of questioning without a lawyer or competent translator, when she accused Mr Lumumba in two statements typed by police that she signed.

The high court stipulated that the Florence appeals panel could not consider the two signed documents, but only four handwritten pages penned by Ms Knox the next afternoon in a bid to walk back the statements.

“There is one document in question, that we can all read, and the message of this document is: ‘I don’t know who killed Meredith.’ I thought I was extremely clear,” Ms Knox said, in fluent Italian.

Ms Knox insists that she only named Mr Lumumba under extreme police pressure.

“I was abused, mistreated, psychologically tortured by police that night,” Ms Knox said in the TV interview.

“It was the worst experience of my life. It was worse than being convicted, to tell the truth, because they made me think I was crazy, that I couldn’t trust myself.”

By Press Association

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