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US student Amanda Knox acquitted of murdering British roommate

Last updated on: October 4, 2011 12:33 IST

US student Amanda Knox acquitted of murdering British roommate

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American student Amanda Knox has been freed from an Italian prison after winning an appeal against her conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007.

A jury decided that the 24 year-old, who has spent almost four years in jail, was the victim of a miscarriage of justice following a chaotic Italian police investigation, the Telegraph reports.

Knox is reportedly preparing to fly back to the United States after being cleared of the murder charge.

The verdict was, however, greeted with anger people who branded her a "murderer" and denounced the decision as an "embarrassment".

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Image: Amanda Knox after hearing the verdict during her appeal trial in Perugia
Photographs: Tiziana Fabi/Pool/Reuters
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The verdict was also a blow to the family of 21-year-old Kercher, who just earlier had urged the jury to ignore the "hype" surrounding Knox and uphold her conviction for the murder.

But the judge announced that Knox and her co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito had been "acquitted because they have not committed the crime".

As the verdict was read, Knox crumbled into her seat and burst into tears.

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Image: Raffaele Sollecito after the verdict was read during his appeal trial in Perugia
Photographs: Reuters
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US student Amanda Knox acquitted of murdering British roommate

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After a hearing she was taken back to Capanne Prison to collect her belongings, and was then allowed to walk free.

Knox, 23, and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty last year of killing Kercher by slashing her throat with a knife during a violent, and drug-fueled sex game.

Meredith was killed in a cottage she shared with Knox in a medieval Italian town.

Prosecutors had earlier argued that Knox was filled with vengeance, a "coiled spring," because her "prissy roommate" Meredith criticised her cleanliness and her sexual habits.


Image: Meredith Kercher's sister Stephanie during the appeal trial of Amanda Knox in Perugia
Photographs: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
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Source: ANI