Amanda Knox: What to know about new slander trial

Amanda Knox is again defending herself in an Italian court in a slander case that has the potential to remove the last legal stain against her, following her exoneration nine years ago in the 2007 murder of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

Despite a murder conviction against a man whose DNA and footprints were found at the scene, and a 2015 verdict clearing Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, doubt about her role persists in Italy and with Kercher's family.

The slander case brought by the man that Knox falsely accused is one reason why. Here's a look at it.

Who is Amanda Knox?

Knox was a 20-year-old University of Washington student who had recently arrived in the university town of Perugia when her British roommate, Kercher, was found dead in their room on Nov. 2, 2007. The murder grabbed worldwide attention as suspicion fell on Knox and Sollecito, with whom she had been involved for just about a week. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in their first trial but were ultimately exonerated by Italy’s highest court in 2015.

What is the slander case?

Knox was accused of slandering the Congolese bar owner who employed her part-time, based on two statements typed by police that she signed during a long night of questioning days after the murder. She recanted in a four-page handwritten note the next afternoon, but the memo showed her confusion as she attempted to reconcile the signed statements with her own conflicting recollections. The slander conviction and three-year sentence remained until the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Knox’s rights had been violated during questioning without a lawyer or qualified translator. Based on that ruling, Italy’s highest court threw out the conviction last November and ruled the two statements typed by police were inadmissible. It ordered a new trial.

How did Knox rebuild her life?

Knox returned to the United States after an appeals court threw out her first conviction in 2011, following four years in prison and jail. While she hoped to resume her life as a college student, she was dogged by public scrutiny as her legal cases continued in Italy. Now 36 and the mother of two children, Knox campaigns for criminal justice reform and against forced confessions, drawing on her experience. She has a podcast and a new limited series in development for Hulu that includes Monica Lewinsky among the executive producers. She also has recorded a series on resilience for a meditation app.

What happened in Wednesday's hearing?

An appeals court panel of two judges and eight civilian jurors heard arguments from the prosecution and the lawyer for the wrongly accused man — the bar owner — maintaining their position that Knox committed slander. Her defense attorneys stressed her overturned murder conviction and the interrogation techniques that were strongly censured by Europe’s human rights court. The trial was continued until June 5, when a verdict is expected.

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