For the third time, Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend are being tried for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher as the retrial began Monday in Florence. Knox remains in the United States.
Knox, who was studying overseas in 2007, and Italian information technology grad Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted in 2009 of Kercher's death in a trial that was a media sensation.
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Kercher and Knox shared a flat in Perugia at the time of the murder. In 2011, an Italian appeals court acquitted Knox and Sollecito and released them, citing weak DNA evidence.
This past March, though, Italy's Supreme Court reversed the acquittal, claiming "shortcomings, contradictions and inconsistencies" in the appeal court's decision and demanded yet another retrial.
Rudy Guede was convicted in the Kercher murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year term. Italian prosecutors claim that Guede did not act alone.
Knox and Sollecito will be tried in absentia this time, with both deciding not to attend the retrial, CNN reported
"I'm afraid to go back there," Knox, who is living in Seattle, told CNN in May. "I don't want to go back into prison."
Knox said that the prosecutors' efforts to tie Kercher's death to a "twisted sex game" gone wrong between her, Knox and Sollecito are "a bombardment of falsehood and fantasy."
"No one has ever claimed that I was ever taking part in deviant sexual activity," Knox said. "None of my roommates, none of my friends, none of the people who knew me there. This is simply coming out of the prosecution. I was not strapping on leather and bearing a whip. I have never done that. I have never taken part in an orgy. Ever."
Sollecito told CNN he will stay in the Dominican Republic with a friend for now and has no plans to return to Italy.
The London Telegraph reported
that if the appeals court finds Knox and Sollecito guilty, the two can file another appeal. Sollecito, a native of Italy, would have to return to prison but the country would have to apply for extradition in Knox's case. (
Legal experts have expressed doubt that the American courts would grant such a request, given the past proceedings that amount to double jeopardy.
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