For nearly four years the trial and imprisonment of Amanda Knox in Italy attracted thorough coverage by largely sympathetic American media and ravenous U.K. tabloids. In October 2011 Knox was a free woman and the saga appeared over when an Italian court overturned her conviction for murdering British student Meredith Kercher.
But now Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, with whom she was charged with the crime in 2007, have had their acquittals thrown out by Italy's highest criminal court.
The Guardian reports that the decision was not based on a determination of innocence or guilt, but was merely an evaluation of the previous appeals trial. The successful 2011 appeal argued that DNA evidence used in the case was unreliable. Prosecutors said at the time they would appeal the acquittal.
Knox, 20 years old when she allegedly murdered her 21-year-old roommate while studying abroad in Perugia, Italy, said in a statement blasted to media outlets Tuesday, "The prosecution responsible for the many discrepancies in their work must be made to answer for them, for Raffaele's sake, my sake, and most especially for the sake of Meredith's family."
Now 25 and living in the Seattle area, Knox called the continued prosecution "completely unfounded and unfair" and said, "No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity."
Sollecito's attorney told Italian media, as quoted by ITV: "Today is his birthday, he's 29. He shouldn't be disappointed because he's innocent. He thought the end could be coming to this affair."
The court's presiding judge said Tuesday, according to CNN, that he would release his reasoning for the ruling within 90 days. A new trial might not come until 2014. Knox's attorney said she would be tried in absentia. Only after a second conviction would the process of extradition begin.
A memoir written by Knox, "Waiting to Be Heard," will be released April 30.
Another man, Rudy Guede, was also convicted of the murder, which according to prosecutors happened after a drug-fuelled sexual assault. "We feel that Amanda and Raffaele are guilty and were in the room with Rudy Guede," a lawyer for the Kercher family was quoted by ABC News as saying outside the Italian court.