Italy has been ordered to pay Amanda Knox just over $20,000 in damages after a European court ruled her rights had been violated during the investigation into the murder of her British roommate in November 2007.
Knox, 31, took Italian authorities to court alleging that investigators had violated her rights during a night of questioning in the immediate aftermath of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher’s death in Perugia, Italy.
The European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France, upheld her complaint in a ruling Thursday and said Knox did not have proper access to a lawyer and interpreter during an interrogation where she accused an innocent man of involvement in Kercher’s murder.
They awarded her €10,400 for damages and an additional €8,000 for costs ($20,400 altogether).
In a statement on her website, Knox welcomed the verdict and condemned the actions of local Italian police. “I was interrogated for 53 hours over five days, without a lawyer, in a language I understood maybe as well as a ten-year-old,” she said.
The ECHR described Knox as “particularly vulnerable,” and said that the false accusation had been made in an “atmosphere of intense psychological pressure.”
Knox, who was studying in Italy at the time, was initially convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. After numerous appeals, she was cleared in 2015 after she had returned to America.
This case related to her last outstanding conviction of “malicious accusation” because she briefly, during the Nov. 6 questioning, accused someone else of Kercher’s murder.
The individual, a local bar owner, had an alibi and was released without charge. While Knox withdrew her allegation hours after, Italian police still charged and convicted her of making false statements.
Discussing the accusation and conviction of slander, Knox said that Italian investigators “were determined to break me.”
“To judge me as the author of those false statements tacitly absolves the police for their cruel and abusive behavior that produced them, ruining lives and making a mockery of justice,” Knox wrote in her online statement.
However, the ECHR did not uphold Knox’s complaint that she was subjected to degrading treatment and physically assaulted by officers.
In 2008 Rudy Guede, 33, was convicted of Kercher’s murder and sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Source : BuzzFeed News