In a new interview, a young American convicted by an Italian court of killing her former roommate said that she was falsely accused.
"I did not kill my friend. I did not wield a knife. I had no reason to," Amanda Knox told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night.
"In the month that we were living together, we were becoming friends,” Knox said. “A week before the murder occurred, we went out to a classical music concert together. ... We had never fought."
The then 19-year-old Knox and two of her friends were convicted in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher while the pair shared an apartment in Perugia, Italy. Knox spent four years in an Italian prison before being released in October 2011 when a judge threw out her prior conviction. However, she was convicted again in a subsequent trial and faces 28 years in prison if she loses her ongoing appeal.
Knox, now 26, gave her first interview since January, when she was reconvicted by an Italian court in the death of Kercher. Knox said she believes the evidence used against her was circumstantial and maintains she was not at the scene of the crime when the murder took place.
“I think what most surprised me is how this court has attempted to account for exonerating evidence,” Knox said. “The circumstantial clues of this case have all been equivocal, have been unreliable, whereas forensic evidence that proved what happened in that room that night is there. It's available to be understood. It has not been taken into consideration. And that continues to be an incredibly difficult obstacle that I'm having to confront in proving my innocence.”
The now-retired judge who threw out Knox’s conviction in 2011 echoed her statements, releasing a statement saying the new conviction did not rely on hard evidence.
"The Florence Appeal Court has written the script for a movie or a thriller book, while it should have only considered facts and evidence,” Claudio Hellmann said in a statement. “There is no evidence to condemn Knox and Sollecito. It's a verdict that seems to me is the result of fantasy and has nothing to do with the evidence." Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's boyfriend at the time, was also convicted in the case.
Knox said she plans to stay in the U.S. during the appeals process. Even if she ultimately loses her appeal, the U.S. government could choose to not extradite her back to Italy.
However, Knox said she could not conceive of living a normal life in the U.S. even if she was able to avoid prison time in Italy.
“No. Absolutely not. No, that's not livable,” she said. “And if I think about everything that I could possibly be facing, it's way to overwhelming for me to even conceive.”
Knox repeatedly stood by her earlier statement that Rudy Guede, the third person convicted, was solely responsible for the rape and murder of Kercher. When pressed for details, Knox three times pointed out that Guede had previously been charged with breaking and entering and was not a reliable witness during his own trial.
“It's not a complex case. It's only complex when you try to find explanations for things that are roundabout,” she said. “He had a history of breaking and entering through second-story windows, with rocks, carrying knives. … He was perfectly capable of doing that.”
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