Neighbor: Knox won't return to Italy

March 27, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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ROME, March 27 (UPI) -- The U.S. woman ordered to be tried again for the death of a British student in Italy is confident she wouldn't return to Italy no matter what, a friend said.

"I spoke to the family and they are very confident she won't have to go whatever happens, very confident," a family friend of Amanda Knox told The Daily Telegraph, a British publication, in an article published Wednesday.

In Rome, Italy's highest court Tuesday ordered a new trial for Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, accused of killing British student Meredith Kercher in 2007 during a sex game gone wrong while the women were roommates in a student exchange program in Perugia, Italy.

In 2009, Knox and Sollecito were found guilty in Kercher's death and were sentenced to 25 years in prison. Knox received an additional year-in-prison sentence on a slander conviction for accusing her former boss of killing Kercher.

In 2011, an Italian appeals court tossed the conviction and acquitted Knox and Sollecito. Knox and Sollecito were released after four years in prison.

Another person, Rudy Guede of the Ivory Coast was convicted in Kercher's death and is serving a 16-year prison term.

Another Knox neighbor, Robb Orr, told the Telegraph: "The case seemed really poorly put together. I am sure it was a horrible, horrible thing to go through and it would be nice if she could just move on with her life."

One U.S. lawyer said the legal concept of double jeopardy should protect Knox from extradition if she were convicted in absentia.

Christopher Blakesley, an international criminal law professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said, "If Knox is found guilty, there's still a whole lot of room for battle before she would ever be extradited."

However, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said much would depend on whether U.S. courts considered overturning her conviction was an acquittal.

"It's very complicated and there's no clear answer," Dershowitz told the Telegraph. "It's in the range of unpredictable."

A date for the retrial hasn't been set.

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