Italy's top court orders Amanda Knox retrial
Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were initially found guilty of Kercher's murder in 2009, along with Rudy Guede (who is currently serving a 16-year sentence for the murder). After the initial guilty verdict, Knox and Sollecito filed an appeal that questioned the credibility of some witnesses as well as DNA and forensic evidence.
They were granted a retrial and in 2011, a panel of two judges and six jurors reversed the murder convictions for Knox and Sollecito after forensic investigators challenged the scientific evidence from the initial trial. Knox was released after four years in prison and returned to the United States.
However, on Tuesday (March 26), Italy's top court, the Court of Cassation, ordered a retrial of Knox and Sollecito, based on a request from prosecutors and the Kercher family lawyers. The court ruled that there were procedural irregularities, which give grounds for a retrial. Its reasons will be announced at a later date, reports Reuters.
Kercher family lawyer Francesco Maresca says, "This is an important day for the Italian justice system."
In a statement, Knox calls the decision "painful" because the prosecution's case was revealed as "unfounded and unfair." Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, says it is unclear at this point if Knox will return to Italy for the retrial.
Sollecito's lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, says the decision just means the court wants a more thorough examination of some aspects of the case.
"Unfortunately, we have to continue the battle," Bongiorno tells reporters. "This is a sentence that says, with regards to the acquittal, that something more is needed."
Knox was scheduled to speak publicly about the trial for the first time in April, when she was supposed to have a televised interview with ABC News, to coincide with a book of memoirs being released. There is no word yet as to the status of the interview or book.