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Entries in Acquittal (3)

Wednesday
Oct052011

Italian Prosecutor in Amanda Knox Case Will Appeal Acquittal

Oli Scarff/Getty Images(PERUGIA, Italy) -- As Amanda Knox arrived in her hometown of Seattle Tuesday, after spending the past four years in an Italian prison, the prosecutor in her case announced he would appeal her acquittal of Meredith Kercher's murder.

Giuliano Mignini said Tuesday he would take the case to Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation in Rome.  If the appeal is accepted, Knox's 26-year prison sentence could be reinstated.

Knox was acquitted Monday of killing her British roommate in 2007.  Her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also cleared of murder charges and spared from serving 25 years in jail.

Mignini said intense media scrutiny of the Knox trial influenced Monday’s decision to toss out the murder convictions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct042011

Amanda Knox's First Words Since Regaining Freedom

Tiziana Fabi - Pool/Getty Images(PERUGIA, Italy) -- Amanda Knox's first comments since she was acquitted of murder have arrived in a written letter of thanks to a U.S.- Italian foundation for supporting her through her four-year ordeal.

Knox was thankful people were there, "To hold my hand and offer the support and respect through the barriers and controversies of the Italians. There was the Italy U.S.A. Foundation, and many who have shared my pain and helped me to survive on hope," Knox wrote Tuesday in a letter addressed to the Secretary General of the Italy-U.S. Foundation, Corrado Maria Daclon.

"I am forever grateful for their caring hospitality and their courageous efforts.  Those who wrote to me, who defended me, who stayed close to me, who prayed for me.  We are forever grateful.  I love you.  Amanda," the letter read.

The Italy-U.S. Foundation said Knox departed shortly after noon on Tuesday from Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport.  After a layover, she's set to board a British Airways flight from London Heathrow to arrive Tuesday evening in her hometown of Seattle.

Daclon confirmed that he was with Knox from Monday night when he went to see her at prison, until Tuesday morning when he left her at the airport gate.  He confirmed that he and Knox went through special security channels and that the rest of the Knox family departed on same flight.

"She is very tried... it's a mix of emotions...," Daclon told ABC News. "Tired by this long limbo of a year's appeal trial...the uncertainty of the result made her more tense and she was very worried."

He said that Knox said nothing when they departed.

"We just hugged and looked at each other," he said.

"She told me that she has nothing against Italy and the Italians.  She is just upset about the judicial mistake but she has said she will come back to Italy," Daclon said she told him early Tuesday morning.

Knox, 24, and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, were convicted in December 2009 of killing her roommate Meredith Kercher in a 2007 attack that left the British exchange student partially nude and bleeding to death from a slashed throat.  Sollecito was also acquitted of the murder on Monday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct032011

Meredith Kercher's Family Hopes Truth Will Emerge

British student Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie Kercher looks on as she listens to the verdict during the appeal trial session at the Perugia court on Oct. 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. American student Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito have won their appeal against their conviction in 2009 of killing their British roommate Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007. Alessandro Bianchi - Pool/Getty Images(PERUGIA, Italy) -- The mother of Meredith Kercher sat stoicly in the front of the courtroom Monday as Amanda Knox's family and supporters erupted into cheers and hugs when Knox was acquitted of Kercher's murder.

The Kercher family, who earlier in the day professed its belief that Knox was involved in Meredith's death, remained behind in the courtroom long after the Knox family and its supporters poured into the streets in celebration. Arline Kercher was held upright by her daughter and attorney as she made her way through a crowd of reporters to a waiting vehicle.

The family later released a statement expressing its disappointment and confusion over the trial.

"We respect the decision of the judges. But we do not understand how the decision of the first trial could be so radically overturned. We still trust the Italian judicial system, and hope that the truth will eventually emerge," they said.

Earlier in the day, the family told reporters that the media attention surrounding Knox's appeal had overshadowed Meredith's grisly murder.

"What everyone needs to remember is the brutality of what actually happened that night -- everything Meredith must have felt, the fear and the terror and not knowing why. She didn't deserve that, no one does. She'd been here for two months, and she loved this place," said Stephanie Kercher, Meredith's sister.

The family also criticized Knox family's use of the media to gain sympathy for its daughter, calling the family a "PR machine" against whom they had to battle to keep the memory of their beloved "Mez" alive.

"It's very difficult to talk about forgiveness at this time, with the [media] hype around the case. And the defendant is involved in that. The brutality of it has been forgotten," said Kercher's brother, Lyle.

Arline Kercher said before the verdict was announced that she hoped the evidence keeping Knox and Sollecito in prison would be upheld despite the media attention surrounding the case.

"What I want and what the Knoxes want doesn't come into play today," she said. "It's what the police have found, the science has found, the evidence, and that's all you can go on."

The Kerchers had stayed away from the nearly year-long trial in Perugia, Italy, until Monday, when they arrived to witness the appeals verdict.

When asked if they believed in the original guilty verdict, Stephanie Kercher said, "We were satisfied with the verdict....Nothing's changed."

Referring to the gruesome autopsy photos that were shown during the trial and appeal, the brother said, "If we had them all up here," he said pointing to the wall behind him, "you would find it hard to forgive someone who had done that to your loved one.

"I'm not sure we'll be looking for forgiveness for a while," he said.

The Kercher family, who traveled from its home in Great Britain, is wary about the current attention on Knox instead of Meredith Kercher.

Kercher, a student at the University of Leeds, was studying in Perugia for a year when she was killed. She had been sharing an apartment with Knox, an American student, and two Italian women. She was found partially nude and with her throat slit in her bedroom on Nov. 2, 2007.

A third person, Rudy Guede, 22, was also convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in her murder.

During her final statement to the court in pleading for her freedom Monday, Knox said Kercher was her friend, someone she "shared my life with. She cared for me."

Kercher's mother downplayed their friendship.

"I don't think they were that close....Amanda only got there in the beginning of October, and Meredith was murdered on the first of November," Arline Kercher said. "I think they were friendly but not that close."

The family shared memories of Meredith Kercher. "Mez was just a lovely girl....She was always there for everyone," Stephanie Kercher said.

Arline Kercher cited a line in a story she read about the murder, saying, "I think it happened to Meredith because she was all that they weren't."

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