Amanda Knox plans ‘to defend myself’ in Italian courtroom at slander trial

Amanda Knox says she will “defend myself yet again” in an Italian courtroom — the same one in which the American was convicted in a retrial of her British roommate’s 2007 murder before being exonerated — as a verdict may be reached Wednesday in her related slander trial.

Knox, then an exchange student in the university town of Perugia, Italy, was definitively cleared in 2015 in the stabbing death of Meredith Kercher, seeming to draw to a close a yearslong legal odyssey that captivated Italy and grabbed headlines in the United States and Britain. But a conviction for slander remained after Knox was accused of falsely implicating her former employer — a Congolese bar owner named Patrick Lumumba — in Kercher’s killing.

Last fall, Italy’s highest court threw out that conviction and ordered a new trial.

Knox, 36, has welcomed the chance to fully clear her name, as she has used her notoriety as an advocate for criminal justice reform.

“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,” Knox posted Monday on X.

“I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me. Wish me luck,” she added, writing in Italian, “Crepi il lupo!” — an idiom used to thank others.

Knox’s slander trial in Florence began in April and she is being tried in absentia, meaning the Seattle native has not had to appear.

She posted on X last fall that a new trial “has given me the opportunity to seek my full acquittal from this wrongful accusation of slander. I am no longer a convicted person. And I will fight with my lawyers to prove my innocence once and for all.”

A slander conviction had carried a three-year sentence, which Knox fulfilled while she was detained on the murder charge beginning with her arrest in 2007. Prosecutors had posited a number of theories to prove their allegation that Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, killed Kercher. Sollecito was also charged and convicted in Kercher’s killing and, like Knox, was acquitted on appeal and freed in 2011. The pair’s convictions were reinstated in 2014 before they were both officially cleared of the crime the following year.

The slander trial centers on statements Knox, then 20, made to police when she was first arrested and questioned despite having a rudimentary knowledge of Italian and no legal assistance or translator. While Knox’s accusations implicating Lumumba were written into police statements, she later recanted them in a handwritten note in English.

Still, Lumumba was held for almost two weeks.

Knox’s defense team maintained that the accusation was coerced. In 2019, Europe’s human rights court found that Knox “had been particularly vulnerable, being a foreign young woman, 20 at the time, not having been in Italy for very long and not being fluent in Italian.”

The new trial features two professional judges and eight civilian jurors.

Last fall, Knox wrote that she and Lumumba are “both victims of the violation of my human rights during my interrogation, without which I was helpless against the coercive pressure of the police.”

Kercher, 21, was found with more than 40 wounds, including a deep gash in the throat, at the apartment house she shared with Knox and two other roommates.

While the attention focused largely on Knox and Sollecito, another person was convicted in Kercher’s stabbing death: Rudy Guede, a man who was reportedly acquaintances with other residents of the apartment house where Kercher and Knox lived and whose fingerprints were found at the crime scene. Guede, who denied killing Kercher, was released in 2021 after serving most of a 16-year prison sentence.

Knox now has two young children and hosts a podcast with her husband, Christopher Robinson. A limited series about her wrongful conviction is in development by Hulu.

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