Italy Has to Pay Damages to Amanda Knox

photo from google images

photo from google images

Jocelyn Reeder, Editor-In-Chief

Italy has been ordered to pay compensation to Amanda Knox, an American student who spent years under the cloud of a murder she did not commit. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Knox’s rights were violated in the hours after she was arrested. She was arrested in the Italian City of Perugia over the killing of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were arrested after the semi-naked body of Kercher, 21, was found with her throat slashed in the Perugia apartment the two women shared. Another man, Rudy Guede, a drifter originally from Ivory Coast, was arrested two weeks later. He was tried separately and is serving a 16-year sentence for murder.

The ECHR stated that Italy should pay Knox 18,4oo euros ($20,800) for failing to provide her with a lawyer and an appropriate interpreter when she first was arrested. Her case attracted global attention for years and she was finally cleared in 2015,┬ábut she has been fighting a three-year sentence for blaming someone for the murder who was later found to have an alibi. Part of her challenge to that conviction, for making a “malicious accusation” during police questioning, Knox was granted permission to take the case to the ECHR.

Italian authorities should have done more to assess the conduct of the interpreter, the ECHR said. “In the court’s view, that initial failure had thus had repercussions for other rights and had compromised the fairness of the proceedings as a whole,” the court said. Amanda Knox commented on the court’s ruling stating, “Today, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that my slander conviction was unjust. I am grateful for their wisdom in acknowledging the reality of false confessions, and the need to reform police interrogation methods.”

A spokeswoman for the European Court of Human Rights said Italy has three months to appeal the decision.