ITALY'S highest court this morning overturned American student Amanda Knox's acquittal for the murder of her roommate, ordering a re-trial.
Prosecutors succeeded in getting the high court to throw out the acquittals of Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend in the murder of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher, and order a new trial.
However Knox does not have to return to Italy as there is no requirement for defendants to be in court for re-trials.
Knox told Seattle based Komo News on hearing about the ruling: "It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision. The prosecution’s theory of my involvement in Meredith’s murder has been revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair."
Knox, who yesterday said she was "very anxious" as Italy's top criminal court heard arguments from prosecutors, was arrested shortly after Kercher's body was found in a pool of blood in her bedroom in a rented apartment they shared.
Knox, now 25, and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were initially convicted of the killing and were given long prison sentences.
In 2011 the appeals court acquitted them, criticizing virtually the entire case mounted by prosecutors in the first trial.
The appellate court noted that the murder weapon was never found, said that DNA tests were faulty and added that Knox and Sollecito had no motive to kill Kercher.
After nearly four years behind bars, Knox returned to her hometown of Seattle and Sollecito resumed his computer science studies.
The family of Meredith Kercher have told British media of "unanswered questions" surrounding her death, ahead of a final court appeal.
Lawyer Luciano Ghirga who spoke to Amanda Knox said today she was "very anxious" about the possibility of a retrial. Luciano Ghirga said he spoke to Knox by phone.
Knox and Sollecito have both maintained their innocence, though they said that smoking marijuana the night Ms Kercher was killed had clouded their recollections.
Prosecutors have alleged that Kercher was the victim of a drug-fuelled sexual assault.
A young drifter from Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, was convicted of the slaying in separate proceedings and is serving a 16-year sentence.
Ms Kercher's family have resisted theories that Guede acted alone.
The lawyer for the Kercher family, Francesco Maresca, was at the court , as was Sollecito's father.
The court is also hearing Knox's appeal against a slander conviction for having accused a local pub owner of carrying out the killing.
The man was held for two weeks based on her allegations, but was then released for lack of evidence.