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Amanda Knox Is Reconvicted of Slander in Case Linked to Roommate's Murder

Amanda Knox had been hoping to clear her name "once and for all" when she stepped back into an Italian courtroom earlier this week.

By Jill Sederstrom

Amanda Knox’s hopes of clearing her name “once and for all” were squashed Wednesday when an Italian court reconvicted her of slander for wrongfully accusing a man of murdering her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

She was sentenced to three years in prison, but was credited in full for time she already served in an Italian prison after she was arrested and convicted in Kercher’s death, according to The Associated PressKnox was later cleared of the murder charge against her by an Italian supreme court in 2015 and has gone on to become a powerful advocate for criminal justice reform.

The lone legal case in Italy that remained against Knox was the 2009 conviction of slander after she falsely accused Patrick Lumumba of murdering Kercher during an intense night of questioning by Italian authorities. At the time, Lumumba was Knox's boss at a bar where she worked part-time while the she was enjoying a year abroad.

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The year took a tragic turn on Nov. 1, 2007 when Kercher, a British college student who shared an apartment with Knox, then 20, in the university town of Perugia, was found brutally stabbed to death with her throat slit. 

Knox was granted a new trial on the slander charges after the European Court of Human Rights ruled last year that her rights had been violated during the interrogation, which took place without an attorney or a sufficient translator, according to NBC News

The Accusations Against Lumumba

Amanda Knox

Knox, with her limited knowledge of the language, implicated Lumumba in the crime after an intense night of questioning and signed two statements that had been typed up by police in Italian. 

In court this week, she testified in a soft-spoken voice that she felt bullied and pressured by authorities, describing the interrogation as her “worst nightmare.”

“I am very sorry that I was not strong enough to resist the pressure of police,″ she read in a prepared statement, according to the AP. ”I didn’t know who the murderer was. I had no way to know.”

At one point, she testified that an officer smacked her on the head and shouted “remember, remember” when she was unable to recall details. "I was a scared girl, deceived by the police and led not to trust her own memories,” she testified. 

Knox was hoping the retrial would allow her to finally clear her name and put the lengthy legal ordeal behind her.

“I hope to clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me,” she wrote on X on Monday. 

But a two-judge panel, including six jurors and two alternates, opted to reconvict her of slander, CNN reports. The court is expected to release the reasoning behind the verdict within 60 days.

Outside the courthouse, Calro Dalla Vedova told reporters Knox — who attended the trial with husband Christopher Robinson — was “too upset” to address the crowd.

RELATED: Amanda Knox Says It's a "Good Thing" She's Going "On Trial" in Italy Again

Lumumba's Attorney Speaks Out After Verdict

Lumumba’s attorney Carlo Pacelli told reporters before the hearing began that Knox’s accusation had caused significant damage to the bar owner, who spent several weeks in jail before an alibi proved he could not have carried out the crime. 

"When Patrick was accused by Amanda, he became known everywhere as the monster of Perugia," Pacelli said, adding he was hopeful the conviction would stand, according to Reuters.

Shortly after Kercher was found dead in the apartment she shared with Knox and two Italian roommates, Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were arrested and charged with the murder based largely on Knox’s conversations with police. 

They were convicted and spent four years behind bars as the case worked its way through the legal system, but a Perugia appellate court overturned the conviction in 2011 and Knox returned to the United States, CNN reports. 

She was officially cleared by the Italian Supreme court in 2015 after a series of flip-flopping decisions in the case.

Rudy Guede, a man whose DNA was found at the crime scene and admitted to being in the apartment, was also convicted of the murder in 2009. He was granted early release from prison in 2021.