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Court orders Italian government to pay damages to Amanda Knox

$20,000 in compensation owed to the American accused of murder in 2007

TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images

A European court has ordered the Italian government to pay damages to Amanda Knox for failing to provide an attorney and appropriate interpreter to the American after she was arrested and accused of murdering her roommate in 2007.

What's the background?

Knox was a student living in Perugia, Italy, when her roommate, Meredith Kercher, was found dead with her throat slashed 12 years ago. Authorities arrested Knox and her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, and charged them both with murder.

During her interrogation, Knox said bar owner Diya Lumumba had killed Kercher, but Lumumba was cleared after investigators confirmed he had been at work when the crime occurred and no forensic evidence linked him to the scene.

Two weeks later, Ivory Coast native Rudy Guede was also arrested for the murder of Kercher, and is currently serving a 16-year jail sentence for the crime.

Prosecutors alleged that Knox ordered Sollecito and Guede to hold Kercher down while she killed the victim during a drug-fueled sexual game. Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murder in 2009, and spent roughly four years in Italian prisons, CNN reported.

A re-examination of the evidence resulted in their convictions being overturned in 2011, before the two were convicted again in a retrial. In 2015, Italy's highest appeals court determined that Knox and Sollecito "did not commit" murder.

Why is she receiving damages?

Even though Knox was finally found innocent in Kercher's death, she was convicted to three years in prison for making a "malicious accusation" for telling police that the bar owner committed the crime "despite knowing he was innocent," The Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the Journal, the European Court of Human Rights determined Thursday that police solicited a statement from Knox while she was under duress. The court wrote, "[Knox] alleged that a combination of psychological pressure, exhaustion and ignorance both of the procedures and of her rights had driven her to make a statement that was at odds with reality."

The court ruled that Italy owes Knox 18,400 Euros ($20,921) in damages and legal costs for not providing an attorney and appropriate translator following her arrest, saying that "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."

Anything else?

Knox responded to the court's ruling in a statement, saying, "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."

One last thing…
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