Cleared Amanda Knox released from prison
Amanda Knox has been freed from an Italian prison after being dramatically acquitted of killing British university student Meredith Kercher.
She wept with relief in court as a judge said she was not guilty of the murder of Miss Kercher, 21, who was found in the house she shared with Knox in Perugia, Italy, while on a year abroad.
Knox spent four years behind bars for murdering the Leeds University student from Coulsdon, Surrey, despite protesting her innocence.
But what Knox’s sister described as a “nightmare” for the 24-year-old has now come to an end as jurors in her appeal trial found her not guilty of stabbing Miss Kercher after forcing her into a violent sex game.
Knox will leave Italy on Tuesday on a commercial flight from Rome.
Appearing overcome with emotion, Knox, who wore a black hooded coat to learn of her fate, had to be led out of the court by officials after learning her appeal had been successful.
Knox, from Seattle, was jailed for 26 years in December 2009 after a year-long trial, along with her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who was jailed for 25 years. Sollecito, 27, has also been cleared.
In the medieval court chamber, there was a marked difference between the reactions of the families involved.
Wearing broad smiles, Knox’s relatives got to their feet and hugged each other, many of them sobbing, as the verdict sunk in. Her mother Edda Mellas helped wipe the tears from the face of one of her daughter’s friends.
Meanwhile, Miss Kercher’s mother Arline did not show a great deal of emotion, remaining seated in the courtroom with her other children Lyle and Stephanie, who comforted each other.