The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Nation & World

June 18, 2013

Italy top court faults Amanda Knox acquittal

ROME — Italy's high court on Tuesday faulted the appeals court that acquitted American student Amanda Knox of murdering her roommate, saying its ruling was full of "deficiencies, contradictions and illogical" conclusions and ordering the new appeals court to look at all the evidence to determine whether Knox helped kill the teen.

In March, the Court of Cassation overturned Knox's acquittal in the 2007 murder of flatmate Meredith Kercher and ordered a new trial. On Tuesday, the high court issued its written reasoning for doing so.

Kercher's body was found in November 2007 in her bedroom of the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, a central Italian town popular with foreign exchange students.

Knox, now 25, and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, were initially convicted and sentenced to long prison terms, but a Perugia appeals court acquitted them in 2011, criticizing virtually the entire case mounted by prosecutors. The appellate court noted that the murder weapon was never found, said that DNA tests were faulty and that prosecutors provided no murder motive.

A young man from Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, was convicted of the slaying in a separate proceeding and is serving a 16-year sentence.

In the 74-page Cassation ruling, the high court judges said they "had to recognize that he (Guede) was not the sole author" of the crime, Italian news agency LaPresse reported. The judges though said he was the "main protagonist."

They said the new appeal process would serve to "not only demonstrate the presence of the two suspects in the place of the crime, but to possibly outline the subjective position of Guede's accomplices." It said hypotheses ran from a simple case of forced sex involving Kercher "to a group erotic game that blew up and got out of control."

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