Knox pledges to fight conviction and extradition to Italy ‘until the end’

“This really has hit me like a train. I did not expect this to happen”

Amanda Knox before being interviewed on the set of ABC’s “Good Morning America” in New York. Photograph: Reuters

Amanda Knox before being interviewed on the set of ABC’s “Good Morning America” in New York. Photograph: Reuters

 

Amanda Knox declared she would never go back to Italy willingly and would fight her reinstated conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher “until the very end”, as an emotional public battle over her possible extradition began in earnest yesterday, a day after the guilty verdict was returned.

An emotional Knox vowed that she would fight tooth and nail to clear her name. “I’m going to fight this until the very end. It’s not right, and it’s not fair and I’m going to do everything I can,” she said, through tears, in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America.

Asked if she was prepared for extradition, should it happen, she said: “I’m not . . . This really has hit me like a train. I did not expect this to happen.

“I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent before. How can they say that it’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?”

Meanwhile, Kercher’s relatives said they would fully expect an extradition to take place if the sentence became definitive next year.

“If somebody – whoever that may be – can be convicted in a court of law and found guilty, that person should be punished as is appropriate,” Lyle Kercher, Meredith’s brother, said.


Extradition
Refusing an extradition could cause the US problems “going the other way [with Italy] and probably with other countries.

“I’m sure the American government try to extradite a lot of convicted criminals from abroad themselves,” he added, “so I guess they’ll set a precedent if they didn’t uphold their own laws.”

However, many legal observers think it is highly unlikely that the US would let the extradition of Knox go ahead.

Knox (26) and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito (29), were cleared on appeal in 2011 of killing Kercher (21), a British exchange student in Perugia, but Italy’s top appeal court, the court of cassation, quashed that ruling last year.

On Thursday night, after nearly 12 hour, Knox was handed a 28½-year sentence, while Sollecito was given a 25-year sentence. Both sentences were suspended pending appeal.

Sollecito, meanwhile, was found by police in a hotel in northeast Italy near the border with Austria, sparking speculation about his intentions.

“How do I feel? I would like others to put themselves in my place,” he told the Italian news agency Ansa yesterday.

Sollecito denied he had been planning to escape Italy, saying he had gone to Austria for a “trip” and had then returned when he heard the court’s ruling. – (Guardian service)