Amanda Knox: guilty by media spin and police failures
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted of murdering Meredith Kercher in Perugia. The case began on 2 November 2007, when the body of Kercher, 21, was found in the Italian flat she and Knox shared.
Italy’s supreme court said yesterday the verdict was down to police failures. The judges wrote:
“The trial had oscillations which were the result of stunning flaws, or amnesia, in the investigation and omissions in the investigative activity…The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration, that, in the frantic search for one or more guilty parties to consign to international public opinion, certainly didn’t help the search for substantial truth….
“The kitchen knife, found in Sollecito’s house and the supposed crime weapon, was kept in an ordinary cardboard box, like the kind that Christmas gadgets are packaged in…
“The computers of Amanda Knox and Kercher, which perhaps could have furnished information useful to the investigation, were, incredibly, burned by imprudent maneouvers by the investigators.”
The gap is between the facts and the belief. And it does not end. The media spin continues. Knox, the American nicknamed ‘Foxy Knoxy’, was portrayed as either as the innocent abroad or the conniving “sex-crazed killer.”
The British Press continue to take a line:
Police failures led to Knox’s acquittal (Times)
Amanda Knox acquitted because of ‘stunning flaws’ in investigation (Guardian)
The headlines imply Knox got off because of police failures. But NBC news looks at the same ruling and says she should never have been a suspect:
The latest decision, from the Court of Cassation, Italy’s equivalent of the Supreme Court, slammed police and prosecutors for “stunning weakness” and “investigative bouts of amnesia.” Because no biological evidence from Knox or Sollecito was found at the house in Perugia where Kercher was murdered, the 52-page opinion said, their “participation” in the killing should have been “excluded.”
“There was no shortage of glaring errors in the underlying fabric of the sentence in question,” the court wrote.
On her website, Knox said:
“This has been a long struggle for me, my family, my friends, and my supporters. While I am glad it is now over, I will remain forever grateful to the many individuals who gave their time and talents to help me. Today would not have been possible without your unwavering support. I will now begin the rest of my life with one of my goals being to help others who have been wrongfully accused.”
“It is clear, it is definite, that I was the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice that will remain in history.”
One thing lies on Knox’s file: the Cassation panel said Knox did deserve a three-year sentence for slandering a Congolese-born Perugia pub owner whom she initially indicated as the murder suspect.
Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted in separate proceedings and is serving a 16-year sentence.