Amanda Knox's second murder conviction in Italy was overturned in March because of "glaring errors" and "stunning flaws" in the prosecution's case, which has entangled the American college student and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in legal limbo for the last eight years.
In a 52-page briefing released Monday, a panel of judges from Rome's Court of Cassation explained what led them to throw out the pair's second murder conviction for the 2007 death of Meredith Kercher, Knox's British flatmate in Perugia where she was studying abroad.
The prosecution's case, void of any physical evidence from either Knox or Sollecito, showed "stunning weakness" and "investigative bouts of amnesia," the court wrote, according to The Guardian.
Despite that, the pair was convicted, then acquitted, and then convicted and acquitted a second time, spending a total of four years in an Italian prison by the time the final ruling was handed down in March of this year, freeing them.
Rudy Guede, described by The Guardian as a drifter from the Ivory Coast whose DNA was found at the crime scene, was also convicted of Kercher's murder in 2008 and is serving a 16-year sentence. Still, the prosecution pushed to implicate Knox and Sollecito in order to appease the court of public opinion, the court wrote Monday.
"The trial had oscillations which were the result of stunning flaws, or amnesia, in the investigation and omissions in the investigative activity," the judges said in the report.
"The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration, that, in the frantic search for one or more guilty parties to consign to international public opinion, certainly didn't help the search for substantial truth," the report continued.
The judges also accused the lower courts of dismissing expert testimony that "clearly demonstrated possible contamination" of the murder case's evidence and misinterpreted findings about the knife allegedly used to cut Kercher's throat. Prosecutors insisted that Knox and Sollecito had killed Kercher during some sex game gone wrong, according to The Telegraph.
Knox, who returned to the U.S. after she was initially freed in 2011, addressed the recent report in a statement posted on her website Monday.
"I am deeply grateful that the Italian Supreme Court has filed its opinion and forcefully declared my innocence. This has been a long struggle for me, my family, my friends, and my supporters," she wrote.
"While I am glad it is now over, I will remain forever grateful to the many individuals who gave their time and talents to help me," Knox continued. "Today would not have been possible without your unwavering support. I will now begin the rest of my life with one of my goals being to help others who have been wrongfully accused."
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