Amanda Knox has accused the media of building a false narrative around her during her murder trial and appeals process, depicting her as guilty even though she was eventually acquitted.
The American former exchange student who became the focus of a murder case returned to Italy this week for the first time since an appeals court acquitted her in 2011 in the slaying of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
Ms Knox took the stage Saturday at an Italian panel discussion at the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena, entitled Trial by Media.
Amanda Knox: Controversial case
Amanda Knox: Controversial case
The American was acquitted over the killing of the British student in 2011.
Amanda Knox, right, and her boyfriend, centre, talk with a guest at the opening of a conference on wrongful convictions in Modena on Thursday.Photograph: Antonio calanni/AP
Amanda Knox’s return to Italy has been described as “inappropriate” and “very painful” by a lawyer for the family of the murdered British student Meredith Kercher.
Knox was twice convicted and twice acquitted of killing Kercher, 21, in the home they shared in the university town of Perugia in November 2007. The body of Kercher, a student from Coulsdon, Surrey, who was in Italy on an Erasmus programme, was found under a duvet in her bedroom, partly undressed with multiple stab wounds. She had also been sexually assaulted.
Knox has returned to Italy for the first time since being released from prison in 2011, to participate in a conference about wrongful convictions in Modena.
Knox will take part in a debate on the subject of “trial by media” on Saturday. She published an essay on Medium on Wednesday in which she wrote about the “ravenous media” that for years profited “by sensationalising an already sensational and utterly unjustified story”.
She explained why she chose to make her social media accounts public. “The tabloids would lift my photos out of context and call me strange,” she wrote. “I did so because I just wanted to have what every other person around me had, the freedom to shout into the wind and say: ‘Here I am!’”
One of the images that attracted attention was of Knox dressed as Little Red Riding Hood in Germany’s Black Forest in 2017, showing her looking petrified as a man dressed as the Big Bad Wolf stands behind her.
Before leaving her home in Seattle for Italy, she posted a photo on Instagram of her clinging to a mountain edge alongside the caption: “3 Days till I return to Italy for the first time since leaving prison. Feeling frayed, so I made my own inspirational workplace poster. ‘Hang in there!’ Just imagine I’m a kitten.”
She also shared an image of herself with her fiance asking followers to wish the couple a “buon viaggio”.
The Kerchers’ lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said Knox’s reappearances in the public eye were very painful for the family. Knox has previously said she would like to meet the family, visit Kercher’s grave and return to Perugia.
Meredith Kercher, murdered in Perugia in 2007.Photograph: PA
“All these insistences and appearances are only ever done to keep the attention on herself,” Maresca told the Guardian. “The murder is a tragic memory for the Kercher family, they lost their daughter and sister in such a terrible way. It’s also an injustice for them as they still don’t know the full truth.”
He said Knox’s return and involvement in the conference was “inappropriate”, adding: “It’s unjustified because her process was not a classic case of ‘judicial error’. There was a swing in the decisions: some judges decided one way, and others in another way.”
The Kercher family rarely respond to the publicity generated by Knox, who reportedly earned about £3.5m for her memoir, took part in a Netflix documentary about the case in 2016 and has been the subject of other books and films.
On the 10th anniversary of Kercher’s murder, her older sister Stephanie shared a statement with the Guardian. In it she described her strong, determined and caring character, her infectious laughter and her love for Italy. She also wrote: “If nothing else, I can remain sure that the last time I saw her, when I touched her frozen cold body and lay a kiss on her cheek for the last time, the determination to live, the struggle and the fight that she put up on the evening of 1 November despite being outnumbered, was clear to see.”
Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito spent four years in prison after initially being convicted of the murder. For Knox, three of those years was for a defamation conviction received after she wrongly accused Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, of the crime. Lumumba spent two weeks in jail and was only released after someone came forward with an alibi for him. Knox had told investigators that she “covered her ears as he [Lumumba] killed”. She later said she made the allegation as a result of police coercion.
Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 before being convicted again in 2014 by an appeals court in Florence, which ruled that the multiple injuries inflicted on Kercher’s body proved that Rudy Guede, an Ivorian man serving time for the murder, could not have acted alone. Italy’s highest court overturned the decision in a definitive ruling in 2015, because of what it described as “stunning flaws” in the investigation that led to the convictions.
Amanda Knox spoke at the Criminal Justice Festival at the University of Modena (AP)
Former US exchange student Amanda Knox spoke of her wrongful murder conviction ordeal in Italy
Commozione per Amanda Knox durante le testimonianze, al Festival della giustizia penale di Modena, di persone innocenti che hanno dovuto scontare il carcere a causa di errori giudiziari.Seduta in platea nella sala grande del Forum Monzani, accanto al fidanzato Christopher Robinson, la 31enne di Seattle ha ascoltato con attenzione le storie di Peter Pringle ed Angelo Massaro e non ha trattenuto le lacrime.Il primo, irlandese 80enne, rimase per 14 anni nel 'braccio della morte' per un omicidio al quale era totalmente estraneo. Il secondo, tarantino, sempre accusato di omicidio, è stato in carcere da innocente per 21 anni: l'errore giudiziario fu innescato da una intercettazione interpretata male. La sua vicenda giudiziaria si è conclusa con un'assoluzione.La Knox, al termine dei due interventi, ha abbracciato affettuosamente Peter Pringle che già conosceva personalmente e ha salutato anche Massaro con cui ha scambiato qualche battuta. In mattinata c'era stato qualche momento di tensione. Per la massiccia presenza di fotografi ed operatori televisivi la 31enne, sempre sotto i 'riflettori' dal suo arrivo in Italia, aveva lasciato la sala insieme al fidanzato. Questi, infastidito dalla ressa aveva anche allontanato un fotografo. I due sono poi rientrati al convegno ed hanno assistito al prosieguo dei lavori.Amanda Knox parlerà pubblicamente sabato nel corso di un incontro sul processo penale mediatico."Ci siamo messaggiati ultimamente e mi aveva detto che sarebbe venuta in Italia per questo convegno. Non ho però intenzione di incontrarla né di chiamarla" ha detto Raffale Sollecito alle Iene.Accusato insieme ad Amanda Knox dell'omicidio di Meredith Kercher, nonostante l'assoluzione paga anvcora il prezzo del lungo processo. Aveva trovato lavoro come ingegnere in Francia "ma quando hanno fatto ulteriori indagini mi hanno detto chiaramente che non volevano avere a che fare con una persona che aveva una tale esposizione mediatica. Mi hanno discriminato per la cattiva pubblicità che mi è stata fatta". E così è tornato a vivere in Italia. "A breve dovrei cominciare un nuovo lavoro a Milano". E attacca: "Nessuno mi ha chiesto scusa, nessuno ha tentato di riabilitare la mia immagine. Neanche le istituzioni, che mi hanno negato il risarcimento che ho chiesto [per l'ingiusta detenzione, ndr.] con la vergognosa dichiarazione che in qualche modo questa cosa me la sia cercata".Sollecito è stato in carcere quattro anni, dal 6 novembre del 2007 al 3 ottobre del 2011. Ma non ha ottenuto il risarcimento per ingiusta detenzione perché secondo la Cassazione aveva fornito "affermazioni menzognere e diffamatorie", così da rafforzare negli inquirenti "la prospettiva del suo coinvolgimento" che ha causato la sua carcerazione in via cautelare. "Tutto quello che ho fatto fino ad oggi lo devo a me e alla mia famiglia", spiega Sollecito a Le Iene. "Non ai media, non allo Stato, e questo nonostante sia stato assolto Per me questa cosa è vergognosa". E contro la stampa rincara la dose: "Da allora non credo più a quello che dice. Con me c'è stato il desiderio di fare ascolto e il desiderio di fare propaganda alle indagini della procura".
"Metterei una pietra sopra quella vicenda. Io fossi in lei starei in silenzio, anche per rispetto di Meredith e dei suoi familiari. Le auguro di non sollevare troppo scalpore e non sfruttare la vicenda a livello economico e mediatico". Lo dice all'Adnkronos Claudio Pratillo Hellmann, c he da presidente della Corte d'assise d'appello di Perugia assolse Amanda Knox e Raffaele Sollecito, commentando l'arrivo della giovane in Italia per il festival della giustizia penale di Modena. "Per me è tutto finito con quel processo. Umanamente posso essere contento: tornare in Italia per lei immagino significhi aver superato quel trauma psicologico. Detto ciò, il suo arrivo mi è indifferente. Ho la soddisfazione di aver contribuito ad aver salvato la vita di quelle persone". Per Pratillo Hellmann,"il clima di diffidenza che c'è nei confronti di Amanda e Sollecito in Italia è nato con il clamore mediatico che fin dalle indagini li additava come i responsabili dell'omicidio di Meredith. La gente è colpevolista: è più semplice scaricare le colpe e le responsabilità su qualcuno. La verità è che l'umanità è sostanzialmente malvagia e le persone vedono se stesse specchiandosi inconsapevolmente negli altri. Il male è in noi ed è facile vederlo negli altri. Quelli nei confronti di Amanda sono giudizi superficiali, ma non c'è da stupirsi: noi siamo fortemente anti-italiani . Sollecito ha infatti difficoltà a trovare un lavoro perché molti non gli credono ancora. Amanda, invece, non ha avuto problemi a rifarsi una vita perché in America le credono".
Amanda Knox holds hands with her fiancee Christopher Robinson as they attend a conference during a Criminal Justice Festival at the University of Modena, Italy, Friday, June, 2019. Knox, a former American exchange student who became the focus of a sensational murder case, arrived in Italy Thursday for the first time since an appeals court acquitted her in 2011 in the slaying of her British roommate. n Modena, Italy, Friday, June 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Für viele war sie jahrelang die Mörderin. Nun ist die freigesprochene Amerikanerin Amanda Knox nach Italien zurückgekehrt, wo sie jahrelang der Mittelpunkt eines Justizdramas war. Jetzt stellt sie sich freiwillig ins Scheinwerferlicht.Für viele war sie jahrelang die Mörderin. Nun ist die freigesprochene Amerikanerin Amanda Knox nach Italien zurückgekehrt, wo sie jahrelang der Mittelpunkt eines Justizdramas war. Jetzt stellt sie sich freiwillig ins Scheinwerferlicht.
Amanda Knox (L) and Raffaele Sollecito (R) were eventually acquitted of the 2007 murder of Knox's housemate Meredith Kercher (AFP Photo/FILIPPO MONTEFORTE / TIZIANA FAB)
Meredith Kercher (PA)
Amanda Knox is to return to Italy for the first time since being convicted, then ultimately acquitted, of the murder of Meredith Kercher, to attend a conference on miscarriage of justice cases and “trial by media”.
Amanda Knox viene portata via dal tribunale di Perugia dopo la conclusione della prima udienza d’appello del processo per l’omicidio di Meredith Kercher. (foto: Getty Images)
Amanda Knox faces backlash over 'murder mystery' post
Amanda Knox faces backlash over 'murder mystery' post
(FILES) This file picture taken on March 12, 2011 shows US Amanda Knox takes place in court before the start of a session of her appeal trial in Perugia's courthouse. talian prosecutors on February 14, 2012 lodged an appeal against the acquittal of US student Amanda Knox, accusing her of murdering her British housemate Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia in 2007. AFP PHOTO/ FILES / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
US student Amanda Knox is seen in court on September 23, 2011 as her appeal trial against her conviction for the murder of British housemate Meredith Kercher is winding up, with prosecutors set to present their final arguments Today. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison in 2009 but has always protested her innocence, and the appeal hearing has cast serious doubts on the DNA evidence that helped convict her and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. AFP PHOTO/MARIO LAPORTA (Photo credit should read MARIO LAPORTA/AFP/Getty Images)
Italy – Rome press conference of Raffaele Sollecito after the innocence sentence of the accuse of the murder of Meredith Kerchner (Photo by camilla morandi/Corbis via Getty Images)
El Tribunal Europeo de Derechos Humanos (TEDH) ha condenado este jueves a
Europe's top human rights court has ordered Italy to pay €18,400 (£16,000) to Amanda Knox after ruling that she was denied adequate legal representation when she was questioned over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher over a decade ago.
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Speaking in Italian, she said she was depicted "on the global scene as cunning, psychopath, drug-addicted, whore – guilty".
Ms Knox wept as she said the media labelled her "Foxy Knoxy" and invented a "false and baseless story, which fuelled people's fantasies and talked to their fears".
Her 2011 acquittal was part of a long legal process with multiple flip-flop rulings before she was definitively acquitted in 2015 by Italy's highest court.
She said she returned to Italy despite the fact she was afraid of being "molested, derided, framed, that new accusations will be directed against me for telling my truth".
Ms Knox also criticised Italian prosecutors, who described a scenario made up of "orgies and sex toys" during her first trial, even though that version of the story was toned down in the appeal.
She acknowledged despite her final acquittal: "I remain a controversial figure in the public opinion, especially here in Italy."
Ms Knox had been accused with her Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, and Ivorian-born Rudy Guede of killing Ms Kercher on November 1 2007 in the university town of Perugia.
After multiple rulings, Italy's highest court definitively acquitted Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito in 2015.
Guede is still serving a 16-year sentence.
During her speech, which was followed by a standing ovation, Ms Knox recalled Perugia prosecutor Giuliano Mignini as the one who accused her in his search for justice.
"One day I'd like to meet the real Mignini and I hope that when he comes, he will also see that I am not a monster, I simply am Amanda," she said.
On Friday, the lawyer for Kercher's family described Knox's invitation to speak at the Criminal Justice Festival as "inappropriate."
"Inviting her to a technical panel on justice was a mistake," Francesco Maresca told The Associated Press, adding "lawyers for both parts should have been involved."