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Amanda Knox feared attacks and accusations on return to Italy

  • 15 June 2019
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Media captionAmanda Knox: "I'm afraid of being framed"

Amanda Knox has spoken of the pain of being tried by the media over the murder of her friend, British student Meredith Kercher, in Italy in 2007.

The American told the Criminal Justice Festival in Modena that she feared being attacked and even charged again.

It is Ms Knox's first trip to Italy since being cleared of the murder after four years in jail.

Looking distressed and bursting into tears, she condemned a system that was fed by "the fantasy of tabloids".

Who is Amanda Knox? Who was Meredith Kercher?

Amanda Knox, from Seattle in the US, and Meredith Kercher, from Surrey in the UK, were both language exchange students sharing a house in the university town of Perugia.

Image copyright PA Image caption Meredith Kercher was a student at Leeds University

Alongside her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, Ms Knox was arrested on suspicion of murdering Ms Kercher, 21, who was found dead in their house. Her throat had been cut and she had been sexually assaulted.

Having been found guilty, Ms Knox served four years in an Italian prison before she and Mr Sollecito were acquitted through an appeal. She returned home to Seattle in 2011.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Amanda Knox being escorted to her court hearing in 2008

A retrial in 2014 reinstated Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito's convictions but Italy's top appeals court finally overturned their convictions in 2015.

Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede is currently serving a 16-year sentence for Ms Kercher's murder after his fingerprints were found at the scene.

The court ruled that he did not act alone, but after Ms Knox and Mr Sollecito were acquitted no other accomplices were convicted.

What did Knox tell participants at the event?

The festival, which will run from June 13 to 15, is organised by the Italy Innocence Project and the Camera Penale di Modena, an association of lawyers.

Ms Knox, now 31, said many people had thought she was crazy to return.

"Today I fear being harassed, laughed at and framed - and I fear that new charges may be brought," she said before proceeding to deny again any role in Ms Kercher's murder.

The media, Ms Knox said had "contaminated the inquiry".

"It was impossible to have a fair process. Public opinion is not accountable to anyone, there are no rules - only that sensationalism wins: in the court of public opinion, you are not a human being, but a consumer item."

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In 2014, the Kercher family said they were "still on a journey to truth"

The Kercher family lawyer has told The Telegraph that Ms Knox's decision to return to Italy was "inappropriate and uncalled for".

Why was the case so widely covered?

Both Ms Knox and Ms Kercher were young students and the alleged sexual nature of the murder played a key part in fuelling media interest.

Tabloids labelled Ms Knox "Foxy Knoxy" and one Italian commentator claimed she had "the face of an angel but the eyes of a killer".

She has since written a book and helped produce a Netflix documentary about her time in prison and her experience of being falsely accused.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Amanda Knox with her family after she was acquitted of murder in 2015

More on this story

  • Q&A: Meredith Kercher murder court case
    28 March 2015
  • Amanda Knox wins Meredith Kercher murder appeal
    4 October 2011
  • Meredith Kercher family: We're still on journey to truth
    31 January 2014
  • Amanda Knox Netflix documentary gets mixed reviews
    30 September 2016
  • Amanda Knox: Figure at the centre of a saga
    27 March 2015
  • Court allows Amanda Knox to sue Italy for trial 'abuses'
    18 May 2016

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