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Tue February 14, 2012
Prosecutors target Amanda Knox again; family not worried
Amanda Knox and her family say they're not worried about a decision by Italian prosecutors to appeal her acquittal on charges of killing her roommate in 2007.
Earlier today, Italian prosecutors appealed to Italy's highest criminal court to reinstate the murder convictions of Seattleite Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend in the brutal slaying of a British student.
A statement released by Knox family spokesman says her most recent trial clearly established her innocence. It calls the appeal "simply another example of harassment by the prosecution against Amanda."
Still convinced she did it
Perugia prosecutors filed the 112-page appeal more than four months after an appeals court threw out the convictions against Knox, 24, and Raffaele Sollecito, 27.
Prosecutors Giovanni Galati said he is "very convinced" that Sollecito and Knox are responsible for the Nov. 1, 2007 stabbing death of Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British student who shared an apartment with Knox in the university town of Perugia.
Galati told reporters in Pergugia that the appeals sentence must be thrown out, saying it was full of "ommissions and many errors," the news agency ANSA reported.
The prosecutors appeal, which was expected, marks the third and final stage in the criminal case against Knox and Sollecito.
No new evidence allowed
The two were found guilty in a lower court of slaying Kercher in what prosecutors described as a sex-fueled attack, and sentenced to 26 years and 25 years respectively. An appeals court then said the evidence did not hold up, freeing Knox to return home to the United States after serving four years in prison.
Luca Maori, Sollecito's lawyer, said the high court is expected to issue its decision toward the end of the year.
The prosecutors move was expected, and Maori said he would file his counter-arguments after going over the prosecutors' appeal.
"We will write our brief to say it's a mistake," Maori said.
The high court cannot hear new evidence, and will make its decision based on what has been submitted in earlier trials.
The book deal
The 24-year-old American, who was cleared on appeal of the 2007 killing of her British housemate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, has been meeting publishers to discuss her memoirs, according to the New York Times.
"Everybody fell in love with her," one told the American paper, which reported that Knox came across in meetings with publishers as "soft-spoken, smart, almost scholarly, naming literary novels that she found moving", and speaking of her "longtime dream" to be a writer, the Guardian reported.
The fatal blow to the prosecution's case was a court-ordered DNA review in the appellate trial that discredited crucial genetic evidence used to convict Knox and Sollecito in 2009.
Kercher was found slain in a pool of blood in the house she shared with Knox in Perugia. The appeals court in October said the guilty verdicts against the pair were not corroborated by any evidence, and that the court hadn't proven they were in the house when Kercher was killed.
Still, the appellate panel stopped short of saying what might have happened the night of the murder.
A third defendant, Ivory Coast-born drifter Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate trial of sexually assaulting and stabbing Kercher. His 16-year sentence, reduced in appeal from an initial 30 years, was upheld by Italy's highest court in 2010.
Amanda Knox in Seattle
Amanda Knox in Seattle