Imprisoned American student, Amanda Knox, has been acquitted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian city of Perugia.
Knox, who hours earlier told the Italian court, “I am innocent … I want to go home,” was cleared of murdering her British roommate, cancelling her original 26-year sentence and allowing her to return to USA.
She was released from prison about an hour after the verdict and was expected to return to the United States at the earliest.
The 24-year-old Knox spent four years imprisoned in Italy over the murder of her roommate. However, Knox insisted she played no part in. The verdict came when jurors in her appeal trial found her not guilty of stabbing Kercher after forcing her into a violent sex game.
Knox, from Seattle, was jailed for 26 years in December 2009 after a year-long trial, while her Italian ex-boyfriend was jailed for 25 years. Sollecito, 27, was also cleared on Monday after a successful appeal.
Drug dealer Rudy Guede, 24, from Ivory Coast, was held for the murder and sexual violence on Kercher. He too protests his innocence but his conviction was upheld on appeal.
An emotional Amanda Knox told jurors, “I want to go back to my life. I do not want to be punished. I do not want my life taken away for something that I did not do because I am innocent.”
The body of Kercher, 21, was found on November 2, 2007 in a pool of blood on the floor in the house she shared with Knox on her year abroad. Her body was covered in knife wounds and bruises. Investigators also found traces of sexual assault.
Kercher’s family, however, complained that Kercher was forgotten in a case that has focused on Knox.