Italy: Judiciary under pressure acquits Knox

4 October 2011
Corriere della Sera

Corriere della Sera, 4 October 2011

"Amanda acquitted", headlines Corriere della Sera, at the end of one of the most followed legal sagas in Italian history. American student Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 for the 2007 murder, in Perugia, of British student Meredith Kercher, after an alleged erotic game had gone wrong.

On Monday the court of appeal overturned the verdict for lack of evidence, sparking the public's angry reaction. Pressure on judges was high, outlines Corriere: "Never before has the media aspect so far surpassed the judiciary. And the case had become an international one. The British media had sided with the victim, nicknaming beautiful Amanda ‘Foxy Knoxy’, just to emphasize her elusive slyness. The American media, however, were all for her. [...] To counter the Italian and British media, the Knox family got help from press office to send out to the U.S. one image of an American girl as a victim of injustice."

The case had even drawn the attention of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who had pledged full diplomatic support to the Knox family. The US department of state immediately expressed its satisfaction at the court's decision. Only one person has been so far convicted for the murder of Kercher – Ivorian born Rudy Guede, a small time drug dealer and drifter, sentenced to 30 years in 2008.