Knox defends not attending retrial

Amanda Knox says she will not return to Italy to face retrial over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher (AP)

Amanda Knox says she will not return to Italy to face retrial over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher (AP)

First published in National News © by

Amanda Knox has defended her decision not to return to Italy to face retrial over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

The 26-year-old American said she was trying to rebuild her life after the "ultimate nightmare" of being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned over the killing of Leeds University student Ms Kercher in November 2007.

"I have plenty to fear because I was already imprisoned wrongfully, I was already convicted wrongfully and this is everything to fear, this, as an innocent person, is the ultimate nightmare, this does not make sense," she told ITV's Daybreak.

Ms Knox has denied any involvement in the killing of Ms Kercher, who was found with her throat slashed in the bedroom of the house they shared in Perugia, central Italy. She was convicted along with her Italian former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito following a high-profile trial, but 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 supreme court has ordered a new trial but Miss Knox, who now lives in Seattle, has said she will not attend for several reasons, including being unable to afford to travel to Italy and remain in the country for the duration of a retrial.

Mr Sollecito, 29, has denied any involvement in the killing and has appealed for money to fund his new court battle. He is due to face a retrial next Monday.

Explaining her reasons for not returning to Italy for the retrial, Miss Knox said: "There are many reasons why I have made the decision. One of the major reasons is because I have done this, I have given testimony ... I can't financially afford to be going back and forth to Italy. I am in school, I am trying to rebuild my life. Then there is the very real fact that I was imprisoned wrongfully and I cannot reconcile that experience with the choice of going back. It doesn't make sense.

"This isn't a complicated case. It has been resolved and for people to hold on to circumstantial things that have been proven wrong... At the very beginning, I never had a chance to defend myself. Over the course of the trial, it was shown that I wasn't the monster that was being made of me."

She added: "There is proof of my innocence in there being no trace of me in the room where my friend was murdered. There was no reason for me to have done this, there is nothing that is a part of me that would ever do something like this. It is so scary to have go to through this again, I did not expect this to happen.

"And now I am not sure what to expect because I have two different experiences - I was wrongfully convicted and rightly acquitted for being innocent and now I have to hope that the next court is able to look at this without prejudice and realise that there is proof of my innocence here. This isn't a case about a character, this isn't a case about a femme fatale, this is a case about my friend who was brutally murdered as she just happened to be home that night."

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