Amanda Knox Lawyer Says Prosecution ‘Started with an Error”
(ROME) — Lawyers for Amanda Knox told Italy’s Supreme Court that the prosecution — which argued on Monday that she should be retried for the murder of her roommate — “started with an error and… continues to insist in the errors.”
Knox’s lawyer got the last word as a team of lawyers for the prosecution and the family of the slain roommate, Meredith Kercher, argued before the country’s top court that an appeals ruling that freed Knox from prison in 2011 had been mistaken. They want her to face a new trial and be sent back to prison.
Knox, who remained home in Seattle during Monday’s hearing, was released from Italy’s Capanne prison after the appeals court threw out her conviction and scolded the prosecution’s handling of evidence and the case. Also released at the time was her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who had been convicted along with her.
Knox, 25, was “anxious” about Monday’s hearing, a member of her legal team said.
The court could reject the prosecution’s appeal and end her six-year ordeal. But if the Supreme Court rules that Knox should not have been exonerated, a new trial would be ordered. Knox would not be required to return to Italy for the proceedings.
If that lower court trial convicted her again, the verdict would again be appealed, a process that would take years. Only if the Supreme Court upholds the guilty verdict could extradition proceedings begin to return Knox to Italy, although experts do not believe such an effort would be successful.
The Supreme Court said it would deliver its ruling Tuesday morning.
“This trial started with an error and the prosecution continues to insist in the errors even in an attempt to convince the Supreme Court that the recourse should be accepted,” Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova argued.
Dalla Vedova reminded the court that Monday’s hearing should only consider whether the Italian legal code was applied properly, noting it was not a re-trial of evidence and witnesses.
After the hearing, Dalla Vedova told ABC News, “The prosecutor spoke about the merits of the case as opposed to the procedural faults.”
Knox’s lawyers also asked that her slander conviction be overturned. She was convicted of slander for falsely accusing her former boss, Patrick Lumumba, as Kercher’s killer.
Knox claims that she told police she had a “vision” of Lumumba during a marathon interrogation by police who insisted she had plans to meet Lumumba that night because they found a message on her cellphone telling Lumumba in Italian, “See you later.”
During her 2009 trial testimony, Knox said that during her grilling she was hit in the head, threatened and confused.
Dalla Vedova reminded the Supreme Court they had previously ruled Knox’s “confession” inadmissible because Knox was never informed she was suspect.
Knox spent nearly four years in prison and three of those years were considered to have satisfied her penalty for slander. If her conviction is overturned, she could seek compensation for false imprisonment. The maximum she could win is 520,000 euro, or nearly $750,000.
Sollecito’s lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, also came to Knox’s defense on Monday.
Bongiorno reminded the court that Knox was not allowed a lawyer during her interrogations, but was allowed a translator, or what she referred to as a “medium” who would “induce [Knox] to remember things.” Knox testified in 2009 that the translator encouraged her “to try to remember.”
Bongiorno added in court on Monday, “There was a lot that was strange that night — dreams, visions. But she said the strangest was instead of calling a defense lawyer, they called a medium.”
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