American Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito will go back on trial in Italy on Monday (September 30) for the murder of her British roommate in 2007.
The case is being tried again after Italy's highest court overturned the acquittals, noting "contradictions and inconsistencies".
Barbie Nadeau, a freelance journalist based in Rome who reports for a range of American media outlets including CNN, the Huffington Post and News Week, said the supreme court's decision had taken many by surprise.
"No, I was very surprised that the high court chose to throw out the acquittal. I think everybody was really surprised. It was finished, it was done, Amanda Knox was home, Raffaele Sollecito was getting on with his life. But for the memory of Meredith Kercher and for her family I think it is very important that they take another look at this. It was done very quickly and if you look at the judges' reasonings they have very very valid points they make in terms of the way the appellate court acted in the second degree and in acquitting them of the murder conviction. For this reason, you know, it is a murder, a young girl lost her life, it's important to make sure justice is served," said Nadeau.
The Supreme Court said the possibility that Kercher was killed during a group sex game should be re-examined. It also noted that the one person still in jail for the murder, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence, was unlikely to have committed the crime alone.
"I think there will be a new review of the evidence and more of the evidence. At the appellate level, the independent examination of the evidence focused on three or four main pieces but the high court, according to their reasoning, decided that they need to see an examination of a fuller body of evidence, that which was used to convict Rudy Guede, that which was outside of the murder room and that which was even circumstantial. So, for that reason it seems very likely that this court is going to demand another review of the evidence," she said.
Nadeau said it was likely that Knox and Sollecito would be acquitted again but added that she expected the verdict to be one that would be more satisfactory to many following or involved in the case.
"I think it is very possible that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito will be acquitted again. But I think if they are acquitted again it will be with less controversy because this appellate court is going to be forced to do a better job and a more thorough job in their re-examination of the conviction," she said.
In a memoir released earlier this year, Knox sought to reverse the image of a callous sexual deviant painted in many media reports after her initial conviction, and portrayed herself as a naive young woman railroaded by a foreign justice system.
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