Friday 27 April 2018

Amanda Knox flies back to Seattle but prosecutors pledge to appeal ruling

Amanda Knox pictured at London's Heathrow Airport on her journey back to Seattle. Photo: PA
Amanda Knox pictured at London's Heathrow Airport on her journey back to Seattle. Photo: PA
Amanda Knox breaks into tears after hearing her conviction for murdering Meredith Kercher was overturned. Photo: Getty Images
Raffaele Sollecito is congratulated in Perugia's Court of Appeal after the verdict. Photo: Getty Images
Amanda Knox is led away from Perugia's Court of Appeal in tears. Photo: Getty Images
Amanda Knox's father Curt Knox, left, and step-father Chris Mellas watch as Amanda's sister Deanna and mother Edda Mellas embrace in Perugia's Court of Appeal after hearing the verdict. Photo: Getty Images
Murdered British student Meredith Kercher
Amanda Knox arriving in court for her appeal trial session in Perugia reporters

Amanda Knox is on her way back to Seattle but prosecutors in the investigation into the murder of student Meredith Kercher have confirmed they will seek to overturn her acquittal.

They also said he would seek to overturn the acquittal of her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito in a top Italian appeals court.

Ms Kercher’s family expressed shock and frustration following Ms Knox’s release.

"While we accept the decision that was handed down yesterday, respect the court, and obviously the Italian justice system, we do find now that we are looking at this again and thinking how a decision that was so certain two years ago has been so emphatically overturned now," said Lyle Kercher, the victim’s brother.

It is understood that Ms Knox is flying to the US via London and she was escorted through Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport by police.

When Ms Knox was declared not guilty of murder on Monday night, millions of viewers watched the trial live.

And as is the case with high profile stories, a few publications had prepared copy ahead of the verdict.

Some, including the Daily Mail, declared her guilty along with a blow-by-blow account of how she reacted to the verdict.

“Amanda Knox looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction,” according to the story in the online edition which was later removed.

“As Knox realised the enormity of what judge Hellman was saying she sank into her chair sobbing uncontrollably while her family and friends hugged each other in tears,” it continued.

Meanwhile, Ms Knox could earn between £5m (€5.8m) and £20m (€23m) from her story but she should give some to the family of Meredith Kercher, PR guru Max Clifford said.

"You are talking about millions," he said.

"It's a huge story and of course it's still going on, people have so many questions about what really happened.

"The story has dominated the headlines for the last four years.

"With the big television interviews, like Oprah, the book deal, film rights and if the book and film are successful she's going to be making millions, £5 million to £20 million.

"From a PR point of view most people doubt the verdict.

"Therefore one of the things she should do is donate to the Kercher family so that would at least get her some public support.

"She wouldn't quite be seen to be exploiting the tragedy in the same way.

"She can say 'I have been through four years of hell because I am totally innocent' but suggest a cheque would go to the Kercher family for what they have been through."

Mr Clifford outlined the process involved in dealing with figures at the centre of a media storm.

He said offers for Knox's story would have come in to her representatives even before the appeal verdict was given.

Adding "controversy sells", Mr Clifford said: "People around her would have been, and nobody will admit it, but there will have been approaches, feelers and negotiations taking place, but if you ask them they will say it's not true but I am sure it is.

"You have to move relatively quickly, although it (the story) is not going away. You have to move while it's red hot."

The public relations expert said Knox's advisers would be working to improve her popularity as part of a "massive PR operation".

"It all has to be controlled, the more popular she is, because she is certainly not popular the moment.

"They will have to be working on that.

"There is a massive PR operation that needs to go on and change the public perception of her which won't be easy.

"The more successful that is, the more appealing."

He added that the public are hugely interested and there is always someone in the media willing to pay for stories.

"I am sure if Raoul Moat could have sold his story somebody would have bought it."

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