Amanda Knox On Why She Is Not Coming Back To Italy For Retrial

Sun, 09/22/2013 - 09:30
amanda knox

Amanda Knox, the American student whose retrial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher begins in Florence on September 30, granted a video interview to Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, where she talked about the reasons why she is not coming back to Italy for the retrial, what she thinks may have happened the night of the murder and how the experience has changed her. “There are several reasons why I’m not coming back to Italy for the retrial,” she begins, speaking in Italian. She wears no make-up and has her hair in a ponytail. “First of all, school is in session during that time and I don’t want to miss classes. I’m trying to move on and re-build my life and school is one way I’m doing this. Furthermore, it would be too expensive to go back and forth for the hearings – I just couldn’t afford it. But also, Italy is where I was wrongfully incarcerated for four years; I can’t go back to a place where I was in jail unjustly for such a long time.” Knox was convicted in December 2009 and sentenced to 26 years in prison for the murder of Kercher. Her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito received a 25-year sentence. They were both acquitted on appeal and released in October 2011. In March, the Italian Supreme Court ordered a new trial, rejecting the appeals court ruling. Meredith Kercher was murdered on Nov. 1, 2007. Her half-naked body was found with more than 40 wounds and a gash in the throat in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia while they were both on a study abroad program. During the interview, Knox was asked if she thought she had made any mistakes in the days and weeks that followed the murder: “My mistake was not to realize what was happening. If I had, I would have asked for a lawyer before I continued talking. I was only a child then, my friend had just been killed, it was such a crazy situation that I just couldn’t understand, it was too much for me. The police already had their ideas and they directed me to saying what they wanted. Yes, it was a mistake to make the name of Patrick Lumumba, but it’s not like I went to the police station and said, hey I know who’s done it.” [Here she refers to the man she wrongly named as the killer of Kercher.] At the moment, only one person is in jail for Kercher's murder: Ivory-Coast born Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence. When asked about what she thinks happened that night in Perugia, Knox said: “Well, Rudy Guede’s DNA was everywhere in the room and on Meredith’s body and he had a history of breaking into houses. His presence and participation in the homicide is certain from the evidence. It wasn’t a difficult case.” As to how the experience has changed her, the 26-year-old says: “I feel like I’ve grown 40 years in the four years I was in jail. I feel an enormous sadness. It was a horrible experience that still has a burden on my life. I’m trying to find some lightness amid this burden I feel. Right now I’m studying, I have one more year of school. I have my apartment in Seattle and I bike to school every day. I’m studying creative writing. I want to be a writer.” Knox wrote a book about her experience called “Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir”, which was published on April 30 of this year in the U.S. “My book has been received positively here in the U.S. But I really hope it’s published in Italy. The reason why I wrote it is to make people understand who I am and the reasons behind my actions.” When asked about what she expects from this trial and what she would tell the judges, Knox answered: “I’m curious as to what will happen. I’m waiting with anxiety to see what points the judges will focus on. Circumstantial evidence has been overly discussed already. I’m waiting with an open heart that is beating fast. To the judges I would say to look at what I already said in the courtroom; I said everything I thought could be useful. I’d tell them again I didn’t do it. I trust that they will look at the facts. I’m innocent. I’m waiting.”