2014年2月7日金曜日

Amanda Knox Re-Convicted of Murder

Amanda Knoxが逆転有罪になった。
 伊ペルージャで起きた英国人留学生殺害事件の差し戻し裁判で、フィレ
ンツェの高裁は、殺人罪に問われたアマンダ・ノックス被告に禁錮28年6月
の逆転有罪判決を言い渡した。

高裁判決
・裁判官2名と陪審員6名が11時間以上かけて審議し判決を下した。
・アマンダ・ノックス 殺人罪 禁錮28年6月。
・ラファエル・ソレシト 殺人罪 禁錮25年。
 最高裁判決まで、伊国内では拘束されないが、出国禁止。
 弁護士は最高裁に上告する方針。

判決の説明が見当たらない。
新しい証拠もなかったようだ。
有罪の理由がわからない。

Kercherの親族は、犯人はknoxとの考えを変えていないようだ。

米国内でも伊から、犯人引渡し要請が来たときに、引き渡すかどうかの
議論にもなった。移送されても容疑者は、無罪を主張するとのこと。
一部には、計画殺人ではなく、事故と見る向きもあるようだ。

Amanda Knox Acquittal Overturned
Amanda Konox Retrial


Amanda Knox Interview on GMA Good Morning America with Robin Roberts Part 1


Amanda Knox Interview on GMA Good Morning America with Robin Roberts Part 2


Amanda Knox Verdict Guilty


---米元女子留学生に逆転有罪=ルームメート殺害事件-伊---
2014/01/31-07:59
http://www.jiji.com/jc/c?g=int_30&k=2014013100058

 【ジュネーブ時事】イタリア中部ペルージャで2007年、米国人元女子留学生アマンダ・ノックス被告(26)らがルームメートの英国人女子学生=当時(21)=を殺害したとされる事件の差し戻し裁判で、中部フィレンツェの高裁は30日、ノックス被告に禁錮28年6月、イタリア人元交際相手(29)に同25年の逆転有罪判決を言い渡した。イタリアのメディアが報じた。
 「薬物乱交の末の凶行」とセンセーショナルに報じられたこの事件は昨年3月、最高裁が二審の逆転無罪判決を「非論理的」として破棄し、差し戻しを命令。イタリア内外で大きな注目を集めた。ノックス被告らはこの日出廷せず、判決に不服ならば最高裁に上訴できる。
 09年の一審は凶器とされた刃物の刃に被害者のメレディス・カーチャーさん、柄にノックス被告のDNAが見つかったとの鑑定を支持。ノックス被告は禁錮26年、事件当時に被告と一緒にいた元交際相手は同25年が言い渡された。
 しかし11年の二審では、鑑定結果に疑義があるとして2人は逆転無罪となった。4年間服役していたノックス被告は米国に帰国した。
 カーチャーさんは07年、ノックス被告と同居していた下宿先で性的暴行を受け、刃物でめった刺しにされた半裸姿で発見された。


---英留学生殺害事件、米国人の元ルームメートに逆転有罪=伊高裁---
2014年 01月 31日 07:46 JST
http://jp.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idJPTYEA0T0BN20140130

 [フィレンツェ(イタリア) 30日 ロイター] -2007年にイタリア・ペルージャで起きた英国人留学生殺害事件の差し戻し裁判で、フィレンツェの高裁は30日、殺人罪に問われたアマンダ・ノックス被告に禁錮28年6月の逆転有罪判決を言い渡した。
 また、ノックス被告のイタリア人の元交際相手ラファエル・ソレシト被告に対しては、禁錮25年が言い渡された。留学生の元ルームメートだったノックス被告は2審の無罪判決を受け、米国に帰国しており、欠席裁判となった。
 ソレシト被告の弁護士は最高裁に上告する方針を示し、ノックス被告の弁護士は判決に「ショックを隠し切れない」と語った。最高裁の判決まで拘束されることはないものの、再び有罪となれば、ノックス被告はイタリアに送還される可能性がある。
 この事件は、英国人留学生のメレディス・ケルヒャーさん(当時21)が2007年11月、米シアトル出身のノックス被告とルームシェアをしていたアパートで半裸の状態で発見されたもの。ケルヒャーさんの体には多数の傷跡が確認され、のどを深く切られていた。


---Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito lose Meredith Kercher murder appeal---
Lizzy Davies in Florence and Simon Hattenstone in Seattle
The Guardian, Thursday 30 January 2014 22.18 GMT
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/30/amanda-knox-raffaele-sollecito-lose-meredith-kercher-murder-appeal

Florence court of appeal upholds guilty verdicts for American and Italian accused of killing British student in 2007

Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito had their convictions for the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher reinstated on Thursday night, a dramatic development in the long-running legal saga which paves the way for a possible extradition tussle between Italy and the United States.

Delivering its ruling at the end of the defendants' four-month-long second appeal, the court of appeal in Florence upheld the guilty verdicts for both the 26-year-old American student and her Italian ex-boyfriend, who have protested their innocence for years.

After nearly 12 hours of deliberations, a packed, silent courtroom heard Judge Alessandro Nencini sentence Knox to 28 years and six months in jail while Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years. Sollecito is free pending a definitive confirmation of the verdict by Italy's highest court but cannot travel out of the country.

Though it is bound to come as a huge psychological blow for Seattle-based Knox, the verdict is not likely to have any immediate logistical impact on her as it will only become definitive if confirmed by Italy's top appeals court, and only then would Rome be in a position to request her extradition.

Standing in court, Lyle and Stephanie Kercher looked confused during the lengthy, dense verdict and were briefed on its contents by an official from the British embassy before responding cautiously. "We are still in shock. There's nothing to celebrate," said the victim's sister Stephanie in the courtroom after the judge had spoken.

Lyle, Kercher's brother, said that although the ruling was never going to be "a case of celebrating", it was "the best we could have hoped for". He told journalists the family's feelings were mixed by the knowledge that the sentence still had to be upheld by the highest appeals court in Italy.

"It's hard to sort of feel anything at the moment because we know realistically it's going to go to a further appeal by the defendants, probably some time in spring, so I think we were already prepared for that before this evening's decision," he added.

Asked if they felt any satisfaction at seeing the convictions upheld, he said: "Satisfaction inasmuch as this is what the prosecution's been working for and we've supported what they've been doing throughout. As we've said in the past, no matter what the verdict it was never going to be a case of celebrating anything. That's probably the best we could have hoped for. This is what we've been working towards."

The family's lawyer, Francesca Maresca, said: "I hope this is justice for Meredith and for her family."

In the aftermath of the verdict, Knox said: "First and foremost it must be recognized that there is no consolation for the Kercher family. Their grief over Meredith's terrible murder will follow them forever. They deserve respect and support."

The 26-year-old, now living in Seattle, said she was "frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict. Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution."

Speaking to the Guardian in an interview filmed in the days before the verdict was announced, Knox said a guilty verdict "would feel like a train wreck". She said she would expect the Italian government to approach the US government with a request for her extradition, "and I don't know what would happen".

She hoped the American US government would refuse to extradite her. "I'll technically be considered a fugitive. I'm definitely not going back to Italy willingly. They'll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don't deserve to be in. I will fight for my innocence."

Knox said she had hoped for a resolution for both herself and Kercher. "The idea that justice for me automatically means injustice for Meredith horrifies me. Because that is impossible for them to live with, and I hate that idea.

"The only thing I can do is testify to what happened to me and hope that people can take a step back from their emotional investment and try to empathise. You don't have to believe me, but believe that it [wrongful conviction] happens to other people."

She added: "I'm not sitting here gratuitously talking to you about this because I like the attention. The only reason I'm talking about this is because it happens. It can happen to anyone, and it can happen at any time."

Also in court was Patrick Lumumba, the man whom Knox was definitively convicted last year of slandering. He said he was not surprised by the sentence. "I was convinced she should be convicted. I was very convinced," he said.

For Sollecito, however, the Puglian student who chose to remain in Italy for much of the appeal and attended several of the hearings, the situation is more serious.

The development in the long-running case will be welcomed by the family of Kercher, the 21-year-old Leeds University student from Coulsdon, Surrey, whose lifeless body was found in the bedroom of her shared flat in Perugia on the morning of 2 November 2007.

When the pair's original convictions - handed down in 2009 - were quashed on appeal two years later, Meredith's brother Lyle told the media it felt as if the family were back to square one in their attempts to establish exactly who was responsible for the murder. He was in court on Thursday to hear the decision, along with his sister Stephanie.

Prosecutors argued that Knox and Sollecito carried out the murder alongside Rudy Guede, a young man from Ivory Coast who was convicted of the killing and is serving a 16-year sentence following a fast-track trial.

The lead prosecutor, Alessandro Crini, revived his predecessors' arguments about DNA results, arguing that a small sample of Sollecito's DNA found on Kercher's bra strap - which had been dismissed as very possibly contaminated by the defence and the Perugia appeals court - was still valid.

He also focused again on the alleged murder weapon, a knife found in Sollecito's kitchen, which had Knox's DNA on the handle and, in tests carried out during the original investigation, a tiny sample of Kercher's DNA on the blade.

In arguments upheld by the first appeal court, the defence insisted that the knife was not the murder weapon.

The former lovers, who insist they were with each other in Sollecito's flat - cooking dinner, smoking cannabis and having sex - on the night of the murder, deny this. They say the case against them, which led to them spending almost four years in Italian prisons, is a grave miscarriage of justice.

The Perugia appeal court that overturned their convictions in 2011 had found that the guilty verdicts had relied on faulty DNA evidence and were "not corroborated by any objective element of evidence".

But it, in turn, was harshly criticised by the top Italian court, the court of cassation, which ordered the second appeal when it quashed the verdict of the Perugia appeals court, picking holes in numerous ways in which the verdict was reached and accusing it of "numerous deficiencies, contradictions and manifest lack of logic".

Despite their protestations of innocence, Knox and Sollecito's case has always been marred by a lack of independent alibi corroboration and by Knox's false statement to police - which she insists was made under intense police pressure - in which she wrongly blamed the bar owner Patrick Lumumba for the crime. The court of cassation verdict last year definitively upheld Knox's conviction for slandering Lumumba, her boss at the time of the murder, for which she had already served enough jail time.

As is standard practice in Italy, the Florence court gave no explanation for its verdict and now has up to 90 days to publish its reasoning.


---Italy Court Finds Amanda Knox Guilty of Murder of U.K. Student in Retrial---
By Gilles Castonguay
Updated Jan. 30, 2014 5:32 p.m. ET
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303973704579353071903182530?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303973704579353071903182530.html

Former Boyfriend Also Found Guilty, Lawyers Say They Plan to Appeal

FLORENCE-An Italian appeals court Thursday found Seattle native Amanda Knox and her Italian former boyfriend guilty of murdering a British student in 2007, the latest twist in a long legal saga that has riveted the media's attention and divided public opinion on both sides of the Atlantic.

After more than 11 hours of deliberations, an eight-person panel of judges and jury members in an appeals court in Florence found Ms. Knox and Raffaele Sollecito guilty of murder and sexual assault.

British student Meredith Kercher was found dead in her apartment in the central Italian town of Perugia in 2007, and police subsequently arrested Ms. Knox, her then-boyfriend Mr. Sollecito and other suspects.

The ruling, however, isn't likely to bring an end to the case, as Italian law allows both sides to appeal. After the verdict was read, the defendants' lawyers said they plan to appeal. Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito have both maintained their innocence.

"I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict," said Ms. Knox in a statement. "The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, nothing has changed. There has always been a marked lack of evidence."

"It's a painful development, but it's simply one development," said Giulia Bongiorno, who represented Mr. Sollecito.

Ms. Kercher's brother Lyle was present with their sister Stephanie for the verdict. The ruling "was the best we could have hoped for," he told reporters. "No matter what the verdict is there will never be a case for celebrating anything."

Background on the Case
The mystery surrounding Ms. Kercher's death and the subsequent trial have electrified public opinion since Ms. Kercher was found dead in an apartment she shared with Ms. Knox in Perugia, a university town in central Italy where both were exchange students. The 21-year-old had been stabbed multiple times and her throat had been slashed, with her body also showing signs of sexual assault, according to the prosecution.

The following year, a court convicted Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivory Coast national who had briefly known Ms. Kercher, for her murder, sentencing him to 16 years in prison. The ruling suggested he didn't act alone, though other possible suspects who might have taken part in the murder weren't identified.

Mr. Guede, whose DNA was found on the body, said he was in the apartment but denied killing Ms. Kercher, saying he had been framed by Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito.

In 2009, Ms. Knox and Mr. Sollecito were convicted of murder and sexual assault. But an appeals court overturned the ruling in 2011. Ms. Knox was freed from prison, where she had spent four years, and returned to Seattle.

Then, in a surprise decision last year, Italy's Supreme Court ordered a retrial, arguing that the reasoning behind the 2011 reversal had been "contradictory." A new trial began in an appeals court in Florence in September.

Ms. Knox, now 26, declined to attend the retrial in Florence, saying she was afraid she wouldn't get a fair trial. Neither she nor Mr. Sollecito, 29, was obliged to attend, but Mr. Sollecito made a few appearances in court. He wasn't present for the verdict, and Italian authorities will take away his passport in the coming days.

On Thursday, the judges handed down a sentence of 25 years in prison for Mr. Sollecito and 28 for Ms. Knox. Ms. Knox's sentence was two years longer than her 2009 sentence, although the judges didn't immediately explain that decision.

Seven years of twists in the case have raised questions about the credibility of Italy's justice system. Some critics in the U.S. blasted the handling of the case as ham-handed and highlighted the multiple appeals and the retrial as emblematic of an intractable and unfair system. The Italian government hasn't commented on the trial, but it has sought to overhaul the system in recent years.

During this retrial, the defense returned to questions about the reliability of forensic evidence that had been raised during the first trial. Back then, experts argued that DNA evidence found on a knife-the alleged murder weapon-was insufficient to link it to Ms. Knox.

Prosecutors instead argued the murder stemmed from an argument between the roommates about cleanliness in the apartment, dropping allegations used in the previous trials that the killing was the result of a sex game gone wrong.

If Ms. Knox wins her next appeal, which will take months to hear, prosecutors can in turn appeal that verdict. But if the American student loses all appeals, Italy could seek her extradition.

It is unclear whether the U.S. would agree to send Ms. Knox back to Italy. In light of the multiple appeals and trials in Italy, a U.S. judge may invoke the principle of double jeopardy, whereby a suspect can't be tried twice for the same crime, say experts.

Instead, Italian law doesn't consider a conviction final until the appeals process has been exhausted regardless of the number of times a defendant has been put on trial.

In an interview with Italian daily la Repubblica earlier this month, Ms. Knox said she would resist extradition if the appeals end in a guilty verdict. "In that case, I will be…a fugitive," she said.


---Amanda Knox 'frightened and saddened' by new guilty verdict---
By Tom Kington
January 30, 2014, 3:20 p.m.
http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-amanda-knox-verdict-reaction-20140130,0,1108351.story#axzz2rvf5KnSJ

FLORENCE, Italy -- American student Amanda Knox said she was “frightened and saddened” by an Italian court’s decision Thursday to reverse her acquittal in the 2007 killing of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.

“Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system,” Knox said in a statement from Seattle. “There has always been a marked lack of evidence. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution.”

Knox, 26, shared a house in the Italian town of Perugia with Kercher, then 21, who was found partially naked in a pool of blood, her throat slashed.

Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, were convicted of the crime in 2009, and had spent four years in prison before their acquittal in 2011. However, Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittal and ordered a new appeal, saying the first was riddled with “shortcomings, contradictions and inconsistencies.”

Knox was not in the Florence courtroom Thursday when Judge Alessandro Nencini sentenced her to 28 years and six months in prison, more than the 26 years she received at her first trial. She refused to attend the second appeal, which began last year, writing to the court from Seattle that she feared being "wrongly convicted."

Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the same term he previously received. He was instructed to hand over his passport and was forbidden to leave the country pending confirmation of the verdict by the Italian Supreme Court.

If the guilty verdicts are upheld, Knox could face extradition proceedings.

Here is her full statement:

First and foremost it must be recognized that there is no consolation for the Kercher family. Their grief over Meredith's terrible murder will follow them forever. They deserve respect and support.

I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict. Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, nothing has changed. There has always been a marked lack of evidence. My family and I have suffered greatly from this wrongful persecution.

This has gotten out of hand. Most troubling is that it was entirely preventable. I beseech those with the knowledge and authority to address and remediate the problems that worked to pervert the course of justice and waste the valuable resources of the system: overzealous and intransigent prosecution, prejudiced and narrow-minded investigation, unwillingness to admit mistake, reliance on unreliable testimony and evidence, character assassination, inconsistent and unfounded accusatory theory, and counterproductive and coercive interrogation techniques that produce false confessions and inaccurate statements.


---Amanda Knox Is Re-Convicted of Murder in Italy---
By ELISABETTA POVOLEDOJAN. 30, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/31/world/europe/amanda-knox-trial-in-italy.html?_r=0

FLORENCE, Italy - Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend were convicted for a second time on Thursday in the fatal stabbing of Meredith Kercher, who shared an apartment with Ms. Knox in the university town of Perugia where all three were studying.

The highly polarizing case had already gone through three levels of judgment that produced contradictory verdicts. In their first trial, Ms. Knox, 26, and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, were convicted of murder; then they were acquitted by an appellate court. Italy’s highest court, the Court of Cassation, overturned the acquittal last year and sent the case back to a new appellate court in Florence, for retrial by a jury of two judges and six lay jurors; that jury gave its verdict Thursday after deliberating less than a day.

In his closing arguments to the court in November, the prosecutor, Alessandro Crini, demanded a 26-year sentence for Mr. Sollecito and 30 years for Ms. Knox, whose related conviction for slander was upheld by Italy’s high court. Shortly after the killing on Nov. 1, 2007, Ms. Knox accused her Congolese-born boss of the crime; he was arrested, but later released when his alibi was confirmed.

A third defendant, Rudy Guede, born in the Ivory Coast but a resident of Perugia since he was a child, was convicted in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year sentence in connection with the murder.

Mr. Sollecito was present in court on Thursday, but Ms. Knox was not. She chose to remain in her hometown, Seattle, where she has been living since the acquittal in 2011. She has said she was afraid to return to Italy and possibly be convicted again.

In the defense’s closing arguments on Thursday before the jury retired to deliberate, Ms. Knox’s two lawyers said the prosecution evidence was insubstantial and asked the jury to imagine a scenario in which Mr. Guede was the sole perpetrator of the crime. In the defense’s account, Mr. Guede broke into the house, was discovered by Ms. Kercher, 21, and inflicted the mortal blows after his alcohol-induced advances were rebuffed. “That is, for the defense, the most plausible conclusion,” said Carlo Dalla Vedova, one of Ms. Knox’s lawyers.

Mr. Dalla Vedova said before the verdict that whatever the outcome, the case would probably be appealed again. Any request for Ms. Knox’s extradition would have to go through the Italian Justice Ministry and the United States State Department, he said.

“This case has no winners or losers,” said Vieri Fabiani, a lawyer for the Kercher family. “It’s a tragedy that involves four young people and an act that was clearly not premeditated.”

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