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I'll only go back to Italy kicking and screaming – Knox

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Amanda Knox appears on NBC News' Today show in New York last year. Photo: Reuters

Amanda Knox appears on NBC News' Today show in New York last year. Photo: Reuters

Amanda Knox appears on NBC News' Today show in New York last year. Photo: Reuters

AMANDA Knox will only return to Italy "kicking and screaming" after a court reinstated her and her former boyfriend's murder convictions over the death of student Meredith Kercher.

Knox said she was "frightened and saddened by the unjust verdict", which saw her given 28 years in jail and Raffaele Sollecito 25 years.

The 26-year-old, who stayed in the US for the trial, blamed the outcome on an "overzealous prosecution".

"Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system," she said.

Knox could now face a lengthy extradition battle.

Police today found Sollecito (29) in a hotel near Italy's border with Slovenia and Austria.

Police showed up at about 1am at the hotel in Venzone, about 40km from the border, where Sollecito and his girlfriend were staying.

Since the court didn't order Sollecito be detained, he will be freed as soon as paperwork is completed.

 

'INTENTIONS'

Asked if police thought he might have fled the country, cabinet chief of the Udine police station, Giovanni Belmonte, said: "We don't know his intentions."

The trial was the third for the former couple, who were convicted of the 2007 murder of British exchange student Ms Kercher, then found not guilty during an appeal in 2011.

After yesterday's decision, Meredith's sister, Stephanie, said that her family were "still on a journey to the truth". "It may be we don't ever know what happened that night," she added.

"But the verdict has been upheld this time so we hope we are nearer the end so that we can just start to remember Meredith for who she was and draw a line under it, as it were."

Experts believe it unlikely that Italy will seek Ms Knox's extradition until the verdicts are confirmed, usually by the Supreme Court of Cassation.

The decision of whether to hand her over would rest with the US State Department, and the issue is likely to stir debate over whether she is a victim of double jeopardy, as she was re-tried after acquittal.

"Many Americans are astonished by this case," said Mary Fan, a former federal prosecutor who teaches at the University of Washington Law School.

Ms Kercher (21) was found dead in the bedroom she shared with Knox in Perugia, Italy. She had been sexually assaulted and her throat had been slit.

Knox and Sollecito denied involvement.

hnews@herald.ie


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