10.04.2011

Amanda Knox now free in Italy

Perugia, Italy - Amanda Knox was released from prison Monday, a woman is free for the first time in four years, after the Italian appeals court rejected the murder conviction brutal stabbing death of young Americans with the British after sexual assault by the drug.

Knox, 24, grieve and then read the verdict, in a stunning reversal sensational saga cause celebre in the United States the defendant and his fellow ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito of Italy also cleared of murder 21 years Meredith Kercher in 2007.

"We are very grateful to Amanda complete nightmare," said his sister, Deanna Knox, reporters outside the court. "He suffered for four years for a crime he did not commit."

Nearly 90 minutes after the sentencing, a black Mercedes carrying Knox seen leaving the prison. Expected to board a commercial flight for home on Tuesday.

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Fatal blow to the prosecution case is a court-ordered DNA tests discredited the importance of genetic evidence used to convict Knox and Sollecito in 2009. They were sentenced to 26 and 25, respectively.

As a wave of relief swept the edge of the defendant in court, the Kercher family, who flew by sentiment, seemed confused and disoriented. Meredith older sister, Stephanie, warehouses, and his mother, Arline, look straight ahead.

"We respect the judge's decision, but do not understand how the decision will radically reversed the first test," which Kerchers said in a statement. "We remain confident in the courts of Italy and hope that the truth finally came out."

The Kerchers pressed by the court to defend the criminal verdict, and the theory of resistance that a third person convicted in the case, Rudy Hermann Guede, who acted alone. Guede, was sentenced in a separate trial, is serving 16 years.

There are two options for action: that there is sufficient evidence to uphold the conviction or partner not only committed a crime. The jury of eight members of some goals, Knox and Sollecito compensation.

The ruling was echoed through the streets of this medieval village, where Knox and Kercher comes with a lot of hope for the study abroad program for four years.

Hundreds of mostly college age, young people gathered in the square outside the courtroom scoffed as spreading the word about the release. "Too bad! Too bad! "He shouted, adding that a black man is to take all the blame for the killings.

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Knox pale, terrified and clearly out of breath on arrival to the verdict shortly after 21:30

Chief Justice Claudio Pratillo Hellmann read the verdict in a court full of fresh underground journalists. Within five minutes, good luck Knox reversed.

"The Court of Appeals Perugia ... ordered the immediate release of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, "said Hellman.

Knox jury upheld the criminal conviction of defamation for accusing the bar owner Diya "Patrick" Lumumba to carry out the murder. I set a sentence of three years worth of service time. Knox in jail on November 6, 2007, five days after the murder.

After the verdict, Knox dropped his head into tears, and backed by lawyers from both sides of it.

Prosecutors said they will appeal to the country's highest criminal court, the Court of Appeals, after reading the legal reasoning, and that within 90 days.

"Tonight was the statement is false and confused", said prosecutor Giuliano Mignini news agency ANSA. "There is a serious conviction for defamation. Why is the cost? We do not know. "

"Court of Cassation set right" between the court and the appeals court, he said. Mignini said that "media pressure unprecedented" changes to a theme that played during the closing argument.

So far, nothing in Italian law prevents Knox returned home in Seattle.

In an interview earlier in the day, Kerchers expressed hope that the jury will deliberate regardless of the intense media coverage of the case.

Kercher's sister Stephanie complains that "nearly forgotten," as attention turned to Knox and its appeal. "We wanted to keep his memory alive," said his sister before the verdict.

The trial captivated audiences around the world. Knox and Sollecito, who just started dating, was convicted of Kercher murder in what the court said it began as a Sexual Assault by drugs.

Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito have been accused Guede was the killer, but prosecutors and lawyers for the Kercher family, said the bruises and the lack of defensive wounds to prove Kercher's body has more than one attacker holding a straight below.

After the verdict, the U.S. State Department has said that he appreciated the "careful consideration" the Italian judicial system occurred in the case. "Our Embassy in Rome will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance for Ms Knox and her family," said spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

In Seattle, about a dozen supporters began hugging each other in a hotel suite in the middle.

"He is free" and "we" yell after they watch the trial on television.

The supporters also expressed their support for the Kercher family.

"This is a very sad occasion," said Tom Wright, one of the main organizers of the Friends of Amanda group, after fertilization. "They lost their daughter. Let us continue in our prayers. "

Kellanne Henry, a friend of Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, visiting family in Italy.

"This is the first night in four years (Edda) will know that their daughter was safe," said Henry, holding a crumpled tissue in her hand. "That thought is very unusual for me."

First Friday, Knox said fluent Italian court in tears that he did not kill the woman who shared an apartment with him when both were studying in Perugia. Knox often stopped to draw breath when he speaks eight-member jury in a crowded room, but managed to stay calm during a speech in 10 minutes.

"I lost a friend to the worst, most brutal, more subtle," he said. "I paid my life for things I do."

Knox said he always wanted justice for Kercher. "He has a room next to me. He died in our own apartment. If I was that night, I want to die, "Knox said. "But I do not exist."

"I do not kill. I do not rape. I do not steal. I'm not there, "he said.

In his speech to the jury, Sollecito said: "That hurt anyone, never in my life."

The charge has been delayed for an appeal when the court ordered that two independent experts using DNA evidence to link Knox and Sollecito crimes during the first test.

Since its inception, the weak point in the case of lack of motivation with the testimony of prosecution witnesses are fantastic and sometimes contradictory. So much depends on the scientific evidence collected by investigators.

Prosecutors say Knox's DNA was found on the handle of a kitchen knife believed to be the murder weapon and Kercher's DNA was found on the sheet. They say DNA Sollecito Kercher's bra closure as part of a mixture of data also includes the genetic profile of the victim.

But independent tests - ordered on the request of defense, which has always contested the results - have reached different conclusions.

Both experts found that the police investigation has been done to correct mistakes in evidence collection and testing below the level of pollution that raises doubts about the findings of DNA fingerprints in both leaf and in the grip of a bra, which was collected from the crime scene 46 days after the murder.

Prosecutors have been several hearings and a major part of closing arguments to try to deny the diagnosis, the emergence of experts and skilled, their original conclusions stand up and defend the scientific police work.

They also referred to prosecutors, the ease of Manuela called "big, rock solid evidence" that contributed to the original sentence.

"48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Peter Van Sant reports Knox claims the jury in which members wept openly during his speech, on the contrary belief and that the house back. "

"I confirm that I am not guilty and should be maintained. I just want to go home, back in my life, "he told the court through tears.

Van Sant said the words brought tears Knox even in the eyes of some journalists in the room.

Minutes before, a vibrant Sollecito also addressed the court pleaded not guilty and pleaded for his release.

"Do not hurt anyone, never in my life," said Sollecito, moving as he spoke, and stopped to drink water. He said at the time of the killings in the period of his life, about defending his thesis to graduate from college and you just met Knox.

Kercher was killed this weekend were the first couple planned to spend together, "tenderness and indulgent," he said.

At the end of his 17 minute address, Sollecito removed white rubber bracelets stamped with "Free Amanda and Raffaele" who said he had been four years.

"I take it off. A lot of emotions focused on this bracelet, "he said. "Now I pay tribute to the court. It's time to take it. "

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