Europe’s highest human rights council has ordered the Italian government to pay American Amanda Knox monetary compensation for a gross violation of her rights shortly after she was arrested in 2007 for the murder of her roommate.
Knox was arrested in Perugia, Italy in 2007 for the brutal slaying of her British housemate, Meredith Kercher. The then-20-year-old student was subsequently convicted of the murder and served four years in prison before she was finally exonerated on those charges.
“Knox's case and subsequent appeals attracted global attention for years, as it see-sawed through the Italian legal system."
Even though Knox was eventually cleared of murder in 2015, she was still embroiled in fighting a three-year sentence she was given for “blaming someone for the murder who was later found to have an alibi.” Whaaat?
Let's go back to when this whole nightmare began: The case mesmerized the world.
CNN reports, “Knox's case and subsequent appeals attracted global attention for years, as it see-sawed through the Italian legal system."
Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito “were arrested after the semi-naked body of Meredith Kercher, 21, was found with her throat slashed in the Perugia apartment the two women shared.
"Another man, Rudy Guede, a drifter originally from Ivory Coast, was arrested two weeks later. He was tried separately and is serving a 16-year sentence for murder.”
In spite of Guede's conviction, authorities were still convinced that Knox and Sollecito had also been involved, alleging that Amanda, herself, dealt Kercher the fatal blow.
Then, in a shocking verdict, Amanda and Rafaela were convicted of murder and sexual assault and each sentenced to 25 years in prison.
But Amanda had an additional charge that carried a three-year sentence.
“Knox was also convicted of making a malicious accusation when, during police questioning, she blamed a bar manager for the murder of Kercher. He was later found to be innocent.” Amanda was convicted of slander, thus the additional three-year sentence.
Then, after serving four years of their sentences, both convictions were overturned, the court citing lack of evidence.
But, it wasn’t over yet. Another two years went by, during which time Amanda returned to the United States. But the Italian justice system wasn’t done with her yet. In 2013, the case was retried AGAIN!
Both defendants had their convictions restored and their sentences were re-imposed. Knox, still in the U.S. fought extradition to Italy. Then, in 2015 Amanda was relieved when Italy’s highest appeals court finally exonerated Sollecito and Knox for the murder and sexual assault. But her conviction for malicious accusation remained in place.
Not settling for that, Knox took her case to the ECHR in 2016. At the crux of the complaint was Amanda’s contention that the interpreter she was given while being interrogated did not represent her properly. This, according to Knox, undermined her ability to get a fair hearing.
Finally, on Thursday, the ECHR ruling was handed down. According to CNN, “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said Italy should pay Knox 18,400 euros (about $20,800) for failing to provide her with a lawyer and an appropriate interpreter when she was first detained.”
I can only imagine the relief Amanda felt after such a roller coaster ride over the past decade. After the ruling, Amanda spoke out:
Please join us in congratulating Amanda in her latest vindication. It's reassuring to know that the justice system, even of a foreign country, can eventually get it right.
We'd also like to congratulate her on her recent engagement to long-time boyfriend, Christopher Robinson.
The future is looking very bright for this resilient 31-year-old!