Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have had their guilty verdicts for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher reinstated by judges in Florence.
Neither American Knox, 26, nor Sollecito, 29, an Italian national, were in the courtroom to hear the verdict, though members of Miss Kercher's family were at the hearing. This is the third time the pair have been tried for the killing of Miss Kercher, who died in Perugia in 2007.
Originally convicted in 2009 and sentenced to more than 25 years in jail, a retrial cleared Knox and Sollecito in 2011, however an appeal for a retrial was granted early last year, leading to Thursday's reinstatement of the guilty verdicts.
As A USA Today editorial points out, the trials of Knox have made headlines around the globe, with the student often portrayed "both as a she-devil bent on sexual adventure and as a naif caught up in Italy's Byzantine justice system."
Drug dealer Rudy Guede is already serving a 16-year sentence over Miss Kercher's death, though it has not been decided whether Knox will be extradited from the US to Italy to serve her sentence.
In a pre-recorded interview, Knox told BBC’s Newsnight, "I'm not willingly going back, no. It would feel like a train wreck. There's not a lot I can do after this appeal. They would order my arrest and the Italian government would approach the American government and say, 'Extradite her'.
"And I don't know what would happen. I'm still counting on an acquittal. I'll technically be considered a fugitive. I don't know what I will do though. I'm definitely not going back willingfully. They'll have to catch me and pull me back, kicking and screaming into a prison I don't deserve to be in."
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Miss Kercher, a 21-year-old Leeds University student from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with her throat slashed in the bedroom of the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, central Italy, in November 2007. Prosecutors claimed that Miss Kercher was the victim of a drug-fuelled sex game gone awry.
Knox and her former boyfriend Sollecito have consistently protested their innocence and claim they were not even in the apartment on the night Miss Kercher died. Knox was convicted of the murder in December 2009 along with Sollecito following a high-profile trial, with Knox sentenced to 26 years in prison and Sollecito 25.
The pair were later cleared in 2011 after an appeal court found the prosecution lacking and criticised large swathes of the case against them. Italy's highest criminal court, the Court of Cassation, ruled last March that an appeal court in Florence must re-hear the case against Knox and Sollecito for the murder.
Knox, who now lives in Seattle, said she would not attend due to being unable to afford to travel to Italy and remained in the US for the duration of the retrial. Knox was given a sentence of 28 years and six months, and Sollecito - who has had his passport withheld - received a 25-year term.
Speaking outside the court, Knox's lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, said she will launch an appeal against the decision. But he said the telephone line "went dead" as he told his client of the verdict. Ghirga said: "For those that, like me, are convinced that Amanda is innocent, it is a very difficult time.
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Die Zeit (Germany)
Acquittal for Amanda Knox Repealed
Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany)
Amanda Knox 'shocked' by decision
La Repubblica (Italy)
Meredith case cancels acquittals for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito
La Stampa (Italy)
Meredith, the process has to be redone. The Supreme Court annuls the acquittal of Amanda: "They still will not believe me"
The Guardian (United Kingdom)
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)
The Sun (United Kingdom)
El Pais (Spain)
Italian Supreme annuls the acquittal of Amanda Knox
Corriere della Sera (Italy)
Meredith murder, process to be redone for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito
The Hindu (India)
The Sunday Independent (Ireland)
The Daily Mail (United Kingdom)
Deutsche Welle (Germany)
The Vancouver Sun
The Toronto Star
De Standaard (Belgium)
Amanda Knox Acquittal Broken
Le Monde (France)
To a new trial for Amanda Knox in Italy
Has Amanda Knox Lied To Us All?
"We have to respect the verdict but we will challenge them. We're very sad at the moment. We will definitely try everything. This is not the final word. I am very upset by this decision. We continue to be brave, we have plenty of courage.
"The road to the next appeal is quite difficult but we are ready for a new battle."
Sollecito's solicitor, Giulia Bongiorno, said she had not spoken to her client yet. She said: "He was prepared for any outcome. He is totally astonished why the court keeps changing mind in this way. The court gives credit to rumours. This is not a surprise. They (Knox and Sollecito) have always been considered the murderers."
Miss Kercher's brother Lyle, who was in the court for today's verdict, said he would not be able to forgive those responsible for his sister's death. In an interview with Sky, Mr Kercher said: "I think you'd have to be a very strong-willed - arguably religious - person to find that forgiveness.
"I think it is so easily forgotten what happened to Meredith. When I read reports even now, I find myself skimming past the paragraphs that refer to what actually happened to her because it is so horrific. I think anybody would just need to read in detail or know what happened to her to then question themselves - could they ever forgive someone who did that to their sister or daughter?"
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Kercher said: "No matter what the verdict, it was never going to be a case of celebrating anything. That's probably the best we could have hoped for."
In a statement issued by Knox, read by Sky News, she said she was "frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict". She said the grief of the Kercher family "will follow them forever" and said they "deserve respect and support".
The statement went on: "I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict, having been found innocent before. I expected better from the Italian justice system. The evidence and accusatory theory do not justify a verdict of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather nothing has changed. There has always been a marked lack of evidence. My family and I have suffered greatly from the wrongful persecution." Knox said this has "gotten out of hand".
"Most troubling is that it was entirely preventable," she said. She described the investigation as "prejudiced and narrow-minded". She said there was an "unwillingness to admit mistakes", and added that there was a "reliance on unreliable testimony and evidence". Knox said there was a "character assassination" as well as "inconsistent and unfounded accusatory theory", along with "counter-productive and coercive interrogation techniques that produced false confessions and inaccurate statements".
She added: "Clearly a wrongful conviction is horrific for the wrongfully accused, and it is also terribly bad for the victim, their surviving family and society."
Nov. 2, 2007
British student Meredith Kercher, 21, is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">found murdered</a> in the Perugia, Italy apartment she shares with 20-year-old Amanda Knox, an American student. Post-mortem examination reveals evidence of sexual activity before death. <em>This undated file photo released on Nov. 3, 2007 by the Italian Police shows 21-year-old murdered British university student Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Italian Police, ho, file)</em>
Nov 6, 2007
Knox and 23-year-old boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito (right) <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">are arrested</a>. Knox's boss, 38-year-old bar owner Patrick Lumumba, is also arrested after revealing he'd canceled Knox's shift the night Kercher is murdered. <em>This photo taken Friday Nov. 2, 2007, and made available on Thursday Nov. 8, 2007 shows Amanda Marie Knox, left, and Raffaele Sollecito, looking on outside the rented house where 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher was found dead, in Perugia, Italy. (AP Photo/Stefano Medici, File)</em>
Nov. 20, 2007
Lumumba is <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">released from jail</a> for lack of evidence after Knox implicates him to police. <em>Congolese Patrick Lumumba Diya (R) with his lawyer Carlo Pacelli leaves the police headquaters in Perugia, 20 November 2007. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
Dec. 6, 2007
20-year-old drug dealer and Ivory Coast national <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">Rudy Hermann Guede</a> becomes a third suspect. He is extradited from Germany and taken into custody upon his arriving in Italy. <em>Ivory Coast citizen Rudy Hermann Guede arrives at Rome's Fiumicino airport, 06 December 2007 after being extradited from Germany where he was arrested last 20 November. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
Oct. 28, 2008
Judge indicts Knox and Sollecito on murder and sexual assault charges. Guede, who was granted a fast-track trial, is convicted of murder and sexual assault and sentenced to 30 years in prison after confessing to being in the house on the night of the murder. He maintains his innocence, instead blaming an Italian stranger for the crime. <em>Rudy Hermann Guede, of the Ivory Coast, center, is escorted by penitentiary police officers as he arrives at the opening of his appeal's trial in a Perugia court, central Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Stefano Medici)</em>
Sept. 26, 2008
Knox and Sollecito meet in court for the first time since their arrests. <em>In this Sept. 26, 2008 file photo, American murder suspect Amanda Knox , center, is escorted by Italian penitentiary police officers to Perugia's court at the end of a hearing, central Italy. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito, files)</em>
Jan. 16, 2009
Knox and Sollecito's trial begins in Perugia. <em>Amanda Knox smiles to her lawyer Luciano Ghirga as she arrives at Perugia's court, Italy, Friday, Jan. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)</em>
March 6, 2009
After claiming she was pressured to name a suspect, Knox tells the court she was at Sollecito's house when Kercher's murder took place. <em>American murder suspect Amanda Knox, center, is escorted by Italian penitentiary police officers from Perugia's court after a hearing, central Italy, Tuesday Sept. 16, 2008. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)</em>
June 12, 2009
Knox <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">takes the stand</a>, telling the court she was shocked by Kercher's death. She offers the alibi that she spent that night at her boyfriend's house and accuses police of beating her into making false statement. <em>Amanda Knox, accused of killing her British housemate two-years ago, takes place in the courtroom on June 12, 2009 in Peruggia. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
Nov. 21, 2009
Italian prosecutors request life sentences for both Knox and Sollecito. <em>U.S. murder suspect Amanda Knox reacts during a hearing at Perugia's court, Italy, Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)</em>
Dec. 4, 2009
Jury retires to consider verdicts. Both defendants are found guilty. Knox is sentenced to 26 years in prison, while Sollecito receives 25 years. <em>U.S. murder suspect Amanda Knox is accompanied to a penitentiary police van as she leaves the court after a final hearing before the verdict, in Perugia, Italy, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)</em>
Dec. 22, 2009
Guede's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">conviction is upheld</a> by appeals court, though his sentence is cut to 16 years. <em>In this Dec. 22, 2009, file photo, Rudy Hermann Guede of Ivory Coast, looks on during his appeals trial in Perugia, Italy. (AP Photo/Stefano Medici)</em>
June 1, 2010
Knox is indicted on slander charges for claiming she was beaten by police when questioned in 2007 about her roommate's slaying. <em>Jailed U.S. student Amanda Knox, right, is escorted by police as she arrives for a preliminary hearing in Perugia, Italy, Tuesday, June 1, 2010. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Troccoli)</em>
Nov. 24, 2010
Knox and Sollecito's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">appeals trial begins</a> in Perugia. <em>U.S. murder suspect Amanda Knox, right, is escorted by a penitentiary guard, prior to the start of a hearing in her appeals trial in the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, in Perugia's courthouse, Italy, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)</em>
Dec. 16. 2010
Guede's conviction and 16-year prison sentence <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">are upheld</a> by Italy's highest criminal court. <em>One of the three suspects in the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast (C), of the United States, leaves at a court hearing in Perugia on September 27, 2008. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)</em>
June 29, 2011
The appeals court orders an independent forensic report, which <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">questions much of the DNA evidence</a> used in convicting Knox and Sollecito. <em>Amanda Knox (L) looks Raffaele Sollecito (R) as she arrives in Perugia's court of Appeal during the hearing of her appeal against her murder conviction on June 27, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)</em>
Oct. 3, 2011
The appeals court <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">overturns the murder convictions</a> of Knox and Sollecito and orders their immediate release. <em>Amanda Knox breaks down in tears after hearing the verdict that overturns her conviction and acquits her of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher, at the Perugia court on October 3, 2011 in Perugia, Italy. (Photo by Pier Paolo Cito - Pool/Getty Images)</em>
March 26, 2013
Italy's highest criminal court <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130326/eu-italy-knox-chronology/" target="_blank">orders a new trial</a> after overturning the previous acquittal of Knox and Sollecito. <em>Luciano Ghirga, lawyer of Amanda Knox, center, talks to journalists as he leaves Italy's Court of Cassation, in Rome, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)</em>