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European Court condemns Italy in Amanda Knox calumny case

European Court condemns Italy in Amanda Knox calumny case

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that Knox's rights were violated in the immediate hours after she was arrested and brought into custody in the Italian city of Perugia for the murder of her British housemate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007, CNN reported. The court noted she had quickly and repeatedly retracted the statement, citing a hand-written statement on the afternoon of November 6, 2007, another for her lawyers three days later and in a wiretapped call to her mother on November 10, 2007.

Knox and her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of the murder despite their denials of any involvement. But she also had been convicted of maliciously accusing a bar manager of Kercher's murder during the initial police questioning on November 6, 2007 - and that was not reversed.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said Ms Knox had not had proper access to a lawyer and interpreter.

Knox claimed she'd been slapped in the head twice during questioning, but the court said it found no evidence of inhuman or degrading treatment.

In 2015, Italy's Court of Cassation, the country's highest appeals court, finally exonerated Knox and Sollecito.

It said authorities had failed to assess the conduct of Knox's interpreter, "who had seen herself as a mediator and had adopted a motherly attitude" toward Knox.

The European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg, France, said in its ruling that Italy hadn't succeeded in proving that "the restriction of Ms. Knox's access to a lawyer. had not irreparably undermined the fairness of the proceedings as a whole".

Under the court ruling, Italy is required to pay Ms Knox €10,400 in damages and €8,000 in expenses.

During her interrogation, Knox said bar owner Diya Lumumba had killed Kercher, but Lumumba was cleared after investigators confirmed he had been at work when the crime occurred and no forensic evidence linked him to the scene.

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Italy has been ordered to pay €18,400 (£16,000) to U.S. citizen Amanda Knox, who spent years in prison for a murder of which she was later acquitted.

"Ms Knox had been particularly vulnerable, being a foreign young woman, 20 at the time, not having been in Italy for very long and not being fluent in Italian", the court noted. Its ruling on Thursday gives Knox a boost in her attempts to have her remaining conviction quashed in the Italian courts.

Ms Knox said she had been interrogated, without a lawyer, for 53 hours over the course of five days after the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Mr Lumumba was arrested in relation to Ms Kercher's murder but released without charge after providing an alibi, which prompted prosecutors to accuse Knox of making a "malicious accusation".

She also said she was "was subjected to extreme psychological pressure and forced to speak at a point where she was incapable of showing discernment or willpower".

They were both also found guilty of murder in 2009, sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison.

Knox accused the Italian police of threats and violence during questioning over the 2007 murder, when she was denied both a lawyer and a professional interpreter.

Ivory Coast-born Rudy Hermann Guede was convicted in Kercher's death after his DNA and a bloody footprint were linked by a forensic scientist to the British student.

"It is impossible to compensate Amanda for four years in prison for a mistake". There will be no amount. We are not looking for compensation of damages.