US Amanda Knox (centre) arrives with her husband Christopher Robinson at the courthouse in Florence, on June 5, 2024 before a hearing in a slander case, related to her jailing and later acquittal for the murder of her British roommate in 2007. Image Credit: AFP

FLORENCE: An Italian court on Wednesday reconvicted Amanda Knox of slander for accusing an innocent man of killing her British roommate in 2007, a murder she herself was jailed for before being acquitted.

The American wept in court in Florence as she was sentenced to three years already served for having accused, during police questioning, a Congolese bar owner of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.

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“Amanda is very upset at the outcome of this hearing, she was looking to have a final point after 17 years of judicial procedure,” her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said afterwards.

Meredith Kercher Image Credit: afp

He said they were “very surprised” at the decision and may appeal once they had examined the detailed verdict, which would be published within 60 days.


Knox was 20 when she and her Italian then-boyfriend were arrested for the brutal killing in November 2007 of fellow student Kercher at the girls’ shared home in Perugia.

A long legal saga followed, where the pair was found guilty, acquitted, found guilty again and finally cleared in 2015.

But Knox still had a 2011 conviction for slander - which carried a sentence of three years already served - for initially telling police that Patrick Lumumba was the murderer.

Italy’s highest court threw out that verdict on appeal last October and ordered a retrial, which began earlier this year.

Knox flew in for Wednesday’s final hearing to defend herself, where she apologised for naming Lumumba, blaming pressure from police.

“I’m very sorry I was not strong enough to have resisted the police pressure,” Knox, now a 36-year-old mother of two, told the judges.

“I was scared, tricked and mistreated. I gave the testimony in a moment of existential crisis.”

She said she was interrogated “for hours and hours, in a language which I hardly knew, without an official translator or a lawyer”.

“I didn’t know who the killer was... They refused to believe me,” she said.

‘Monster of Perugia’

Kercher’s 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.

After being implicated by Knox, Lumumba spent almost two weeks behind bars before being released without charge.

Knox said last October that at the time of Kercher’s murder, Lumumba “was my friend”.

But Lumumba’s lawyer, Carlo Pacelli, said her accusation changed his life.

“When he was accused by Amanda he became universally considered the monster of Perugia,” he told reporters outside court Wednesday.

Pacelli said afterwards that Knox had been ordered to pay his client’s legal fees and compensation, but the sum had not yet been set.

Knox was hugged by her husband in court - the same one where she was reconvicted of murder in 2014 - as a scrum of reporters looked on.

Her murder trial attracted global interest, much of it salacious, focusing on prosecutors’ claims that Kercher died as part of a sex game gone wrong.

‘Major flaws’

But Italy’s highest court, when it acquitted Knox and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito once and for all, said there had been “major flaws” in the police investigation.

Knox’s complaints against police prompted a separate charge of slandering police, of which she was cleared in 2016.

But the American - now a journalist, author and campaigner for criminal justice reform - took her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

In 2019, it ruled that Knox had not been provided with adequate legal representation or a professional interpreter during her interrogation.

That ruling - which found her treatment “compromised the fairness of the proceedings as a whole” - was cited by the judges last October who ordered a retrial.

During her testimony on Wednesday, Knox said police hit her.

“They told me I had witnessed something so horrible that my mind had blocked it out,” she said.

“One of the officers cuffed me round the head and said ‘remember, remember!’,” she said.

“In the end... I was forced to submit. I was too exhausted and confused to resist.”

One person remains convicted of Kercher’s murder - Ivorian Rudy Guede, who was linked to the scene by DNA evidence.

He was sentenced in 2008 to 30 years for murder and sexual assault, his sentence later reduced on appeal to 16 years.

Guede was released early in November 2021.