UK

Amanda Knox 'Would Like To Visit Grave Of Meredith Kercher"

01/05/2013 08:45 BST | Updated 01/05/2013 08:56 BST

Amanda Knox "would like permission" to visit the grave of her "friend", the murdered British student Meredith Kercher - the girl she was acquitted of killing last year.

Knox, who is facing a retrial in Italy for the murder of Leeds University student Miss Kercher, stressed that her ordeal "could happen to anyone".

Seattle-born Knox told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an interview broadcast on Monday night she wanted to visit the grave of her Perugia housemate, but only with the blessing of Miss Kercher's family.

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Amanda Knox during her interview with ABC News

"Eventually I can have their permission to pay my respects at her grave and I would also like them to know that she talked about them to me," she said.

"About how she wanted to be a journalist like her dad and she talked about her sister … if all I can give them is this memory that I have of her to add to all theirs that they can carry with them when she's gone."

But Knox said she wanted the Kercher's family to understand "that my need for justice for myself is not in contradiction with theirs".

Seattle-born Knox said prosecutors called her a “devil” in court after the murder in 2007, and accused her of killing Miss Kercher in a sadistic sex game.

In March this year, an Italian court overturned her acquittal and she and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito will face a re-trial, which Knox has not decided whether to attend.

Leeds University student Miss Kercher was found stabbed to death in the flat she shared with Knox in Perugia in November 2007. Knox was arrested five days later.

A year later, Rudy Guede pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

In December 2008, both Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murder and sexual violence, but acquitted in October 2011.

Knox told ABC News in Monday's interview: "I was in the courtroom [in Italy] when they were calling me 'devil'.

"It's one thing to be called certain things in the media and then it's another thing to be sitting in a courtroom, fighting for your life, while people are calling you a devil.

"For all intents and purposes, I was a murderer - whether I was or not. And I had to live with the idea that that would be my life.

"I want the truth to come out. I'd like to be reconsidered as a person."

"I can't be afraid right now. I have to be ready to defend myself."

The interview showed clips of Knox adjusting to her new life back home, playing her guitar, studying at university, but she said her family were still adjusting to how she had been changed by her experience. "My family was expecting the old Amanda back. I am not quite as chirpy anymore.

"What happened to me was surreal. But it could have happened to anyone."

The interview was timed to coincide with the release of Knox's autobiography, Waiting to Be Heard, for which she was reportedly paid more than £2.5m.

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Amanda Knox walks past Raffaele Sollecito at an appeals hearing at Perugia's courthouse

In the book, she maintains that on the night of Meredith Kercher's death she was at Raffaele Sollecito's flat.

Knox repeatedly maintained her innocence in the interview with ABC News, and said she was at Sollecito's house on the night of the murder, and not at the flat she shared with Miss Kercher.

"We stayed in, had dinner, we watched a movie, we smoked, we had sex, we were together. We just hung out together, we talked, we talked about his mum, we made silly faces at each other. We stayed in the whole night," she said.

She went home and took a shower that morning, spotting blood in the sink and bathmat, but claims she did not notice anything else unusual before leaving again, despite the front door being wide-open.

"At the sink when I was taking out my earrings I noticed there were speckles of blood. But speckles, a few drops."

She noticed a "strange" bloodied bath mat, but returned to Sollecito's house where they called the police.

"It never occurred to me that I would ever be considered a suspect. Ever," she said.

But during a police interrogation she admitted she was at home with Miss Kercher.

"I didn't confess. I was interrogated," she told ABC News. "They [the police] acted like my answers were wrong, they told me I was wrong, that I didn't remember correctly, that I had to remember correctly, and that if I didn't I would never see my family.

"I can only describe it as breaking down, I didn't know what I remembered and what I didn't remember anymore. I was incredibly vulnerable at that time."

She was also questioned about her apparent indifference to the murder, and the video of her repeatedly kissing Sollecito as police searched the flat.

Knox admitted she "could have been more sensitive" but said people deal with grief in different ways.

"It bothers me when people suggest that she wasn't my friend," she said. "I was stunned by her death, she was my friend."

In an interview with USA Today, Knox said she was considering whether to return for the retrial. "My lawyers have said that I don't have to and that I don't need to. I'm still considering it, to be honest. It's scary, the thought. But it's also important for me to say, 'This is not just happening far away from and doesn't matter to me.'

"So, somehow, I feel it's important for me to convey that. And if my presence is what is necessary to convey that, then I'll go."

Knox told the newspaper she hoped Meredith Kercher's family would read her book, but acknowledged she had not had any contact with them.

"It matters to me what Meredith's family thinks ... I really hope that the Kerchers read my book. And they don't have to believe me. I have no right to demand anything of anyone. But I hope they try," she said.

"It's really hard (to contact them). I've always been afraid of just upsetting them. And I feel like as long as there's question of my involvement in Meredith's death, I don't want to impose myself on them.

"And I really think that, at least from what I've read, that nothing I could say would make them feel better."