Possible contamination of evidence
Italy's highest appeals court has criticised "glaring errors" in the investigation into the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
The court acquitted Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of the murder in March. The Court of Cassations published a 52-page ruling on Monday which outlined their decision to acquit the former couple.
The court wrote there was an "absolute lack of biological traces" of Knox, or co-defendant Sollecito in the room or on the victim's body. The report goes on to slam the quality of the prosecution's case, citing "blameworthy omissions of investigative activity."
Media interest also was a factor in what was ultimately a flawed case, the high court concluded.
"The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration, that, in the frantic search for one or more guilty parties to consign to international public opinion, certainly didn't help the search for substantial truth," the judges wrote.
The report also said the lower court ignored expert testimony that "clearly demonstrated possible contamination" of evidence and misinterpreted findings about the knife allegedly used to slit Kercher's throat, in what prosecutors had described as a sexual assault.
Had the Cassation Court upheld the 2014 appeals court convictions of the pair, Knox would have faced 28 years in an Italian prison, assuming she would have been extradited from the United States, while Sollecito had faced 25 years.
They had always proclaimed their innocence. A man from Ivory Coast, Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted in separate proceedings and is serving a 16-year sentence, reports the Daily Mail.