European court orders Italy to pay damages to Amanda Knox

Italy has been ordered to pay compensation to Amanda Knox, an American former student who spent years under the cloud of a murder she didn't commit.Eu...

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 7:50 AM
Updated: Jan 25, 2019 7:50 AM

Italy has been ordered to pay compensation to Amanda Knox, an American former student who spent years under the cloud of a murder she didn't commit.

Europe's top human rights court ruled Thursday that Knox's rights were violated in the hours after she was arrested in the Italian city of Perugia over the killing of her British housemate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

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. But it found there was no evidence for her claim that she was mistreated while in police custody.

Knox's case and subsequent appeals attracted global attention for years, as it see-sawed through the Italian legal system. Knox was finally cleared of murder in 2015, but she has been fighting a three-year sentence for blaming someone for the murder who was later found to have an alibi.

As part of her challenge to that conviction, for making a "malicious accusation" during police questioning, Knox was granted permission to take the case to the ECHR.

In its ruling, the ECHR accepted that the interpreter initially provided to Knox acted inappropriately. The interpreter saw herself as a mediator and had "adopted a motherly attitude towards Ms Knox," who was 20 and "particularly vulnerable" at the time, the court said. Knox had recently moved to Perugia and was not very fluent in Italian, the court noted.

Italian authorities should have done more to assess the conduct of the interpreter, the ECHR said. "In the court's view, that initial failure had thus had repercussions for other rights and had compromised the fairness of the proceedings as a whole," the court said.

Knox welcomed the ruling. "Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that my slander conviction was unjust. I am grateful for their wisdom in acknowledging the reality of false confessions, and the need to reform police interrogation methods," she said in a statement.

"I remain forever grateful to everyone around the world who has believed in me, defended me, and spoken out on my behalf throughout the years. I couldn't have survived this without your support."

A case that gripped the world

Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested after the semi-naked body of 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.

But prosecutors continued to insist that Knox and Sollecito were involved, and that Knox was responsible for the delivering the blow that killed Kercher.

In 2009, Knox and Sollecito was found guilty of murder and sexual assault. Knox was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito was jailed for 25 years. 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.

Knox and Sollecito maintained their innocence and were freed in 2011 when an appeals court quashed their convictions, citing a lack of evidence.

Two years later, they were retried and their convictions were restored. Knox was sentenced in absentia to 28½ years. Sollecito got 25 years.

In 2015, Italy's Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeals court, finally exonerated Knox and Sollecito. But Knox's conviction for malicious accusation remained in place.

In 2016, Knox was given permission to take her case to the ECHR. Its ruling on Thursday gives Knox a boost in her attempts to have her remaining conviction quashed in the Italian courts.

A spokeswoman for the European Court of Human Rights said Italy has three months to appeal the decision.

Knox, who lives in Seattle, recently got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, whose sci-fi-themed proposal went viral on social media.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Florence
Broken Clouds
47° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 47°
Fayetteville
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Decatur
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 51°
Scottsboro
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 54°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 347972

Reported Deaths: 4466
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby46176651
Davidson40984412
Knox17878142
Rutherford17025154
Hamilton16137149
Williamson1077979
Sumner9248135
Wilson708477
Out of TN680251
Montgomery627183
Sullivan618896
Putnam575282
Washington5667102
Maury560266
Blount525859
Madison5164108
Bradley493235
Sevier471231
Unassigned433722
Robertson360451
Tipton353738
Hamblen336059
Dyer312350
Gibson308365
Greene290371
Anderson276528
Dickson276333
Coffee268141
Bedford259530
Carter259355
Obion255449
Lawrence253533
Cumberland245335
McMinn235855
Warren227818
Roane223828
Hardeman221837
Loudon220718
Jefferson219032
Fayette216038
Weakley209636
Monroe203944
Lauderdale200722
Franklin196133
Trousdale190012
Hawkins184734
Wayne181610
Henderson179433
Macon177728
Hardin173425
White168618
Marshall166720
Carroll165534
Haywood160030
Rhea158330
Cocke156130
Overton151235
Cheatham150816
Campbell150023
Lincoln149414
Henry146317
Johnson139621
Smith139419
Giles138546
McNairy138133
Fentress118120
Lake11545
Bledsoe11445
Hickman113018
Crockett112226
DeKalb109922
Marion105419
Chester100020
Scott9967
Grainger93915
Decatur92413
Unicoi81026
Claiborne7779
Benton77215
Grundy74914
Lewis72714
Cannon7183
Union7005
Morgan6886
Jackson66910
Humphreys6687
Polk64115
Houston57920
Stewart57214
Clay53318
Sequatchie5025
Perry46521
Meigs46012
Moore3773
Pickett37613
Van Buren3462
Hancock1503

Community Events