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'I will never willingly go back. I will fight this to end': Amanda Knox breaks down as she vows to fight shock new Italian guilty verdict and 28 year sentence for murdering roommate Meredith Kercher

Knox

  • Amanda Knox appeared on Good Morning America on Friday to speak about Thursday's guilty verdict in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher
  • Knox, 26, said her first thought was for her 'vulnerable' ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito who was also found guilty
  • He received a sentence of 25 years and is barred from leaving Italy
  • She also revealed she has written to Kercher's family
  • Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito vowed to appeal to Italy's highest court, a process that will take at least a year
  • Re-conviction opens the way for a lengthy extradition battle as Knox says: 'I will never willingly go back to Italy'


Amanda Knox fought back tears this morning as she gave her first live interview since her shock guilty verdict on Thursday.

The 26-year-old, who was found guilty for the second time for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, revealed her surprise at the court's decision, which she watched on an Italian television station from her Seattle home alongside her family.

'I couldn't believe what I was hearing,' she told Good Morning America. '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 find me guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?'

Thursday's guilty verdict - which called for Knox to serve 28 years in prison and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 29, to serve 25 years in jail - is just the latest twist in the murder case of British exchange student, Meredith Kercher, at the flat the women shared in Perugia in 2007.

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Tears: Amanda Knox became emotional as she appeared in her first live interview on God Morning America since her shock guilty verdict was announced on Thursday. She said she will fight the verdict

Tears: Amanda Knox became emotional as she appeared in her first live interview on God Morning America since her shock guilty verdict was announced on Thursday. She said she will fight the verdict

Emotional: She said she feared for her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who was also found guilty on Thursday

Emotional: She said she feared for her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who was also found guilty on Thursday

Knox and Sollecito spent four years in an Italian prison after their first conviction, but they were freed when an appeals court threw out the conviction in 2011.

But Italy's supreme court ordered the case be retried, leading to the second conviction on Thursday.

'I'm going through waves of emotion,' Knox said as she struggled to contain her tears. 'My first reaction was, "No, this is wrong. I'm going to do everything I can to prove that it is".

'I felt very determined. but it was only on my way here that I really got my first cry.'

She said her first thought had been for her ex-boyfriend, who was in Italy at the time of the verdict.

Sollecito was stopped by police near the Italian border early on Friday. They took him to a police station, confiscated his passport and put a stamp in his Italian identity papers showing he cannot leave the country.

'My initial thought after the verdict was, "oh my God Raffaele",' she said. 

'I feel very supported and respected and believed here and I know that he feels very supported and respected by people in Italy, but he is vulnerable.

'I don't know what I would do if they imprisoned him. It's maddening.'

'It hit me like a train': Amanda Knox speaks after guilty verdict
Angry: Knox, pictured ahead of her interview, said she is disappointed in the Italian justice system

Angry: Knox, pictured ahead of her interview, said she is disappointed in the Italian justice system

Sadness: Knox takes a moment of reflection ahead of her first live interview since the verdict

Sadness: Knox takes a moment of reflection ahead of her first live interview since the verdict

Knox
Knox

In the spotlight: Knox looks anguished as she appears on Good Morning America on Friday morning

Support: Knox told GMA's Robin Roberts that she had written to the Kercher family to give her support

Support: Knox told GMA's Robin Roberts that she had written to the Kercher family to give her support

She said she had also given a great deal of thought to Kercher's family, and had even written them a letter, which is already in the mail.

'I just want them to know that I really understand that this is incredibly difficult,' she told Robin Roberts. 'When the case has been messed up so much, a verdict is no longer consolation for them. 

'The thing that people want when they've been victims is just simple acknowledgement - and they deserve respct and that's been lost. I wish them the best.'

There are now questions over whether or not Knox can be extradited back to Italy to face her prison sentence. She said the decision is up to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

'I'm not prepared,' she said of having to return. 'I will never willingly go back.

'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. But I need a lot of help, I can't do this on my own.'


Her defiance raises the spectre of a long drawn-out extradition battle after the decision of judges in Florence to overrule her previous acquittal and sentence her to 28 years and six months in prison.

Florence to overrule her previous acquittal and sentence her to 28 years and six months in prison.

Guilty: Knox arrives for her interview at Good Morning America, left, while her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito is pictured right outside the Italian court ahead of the final verdict on Thursday. He was also found guilty

Victim: They were convicted for the second time in the murder of British exchange student, Meredith Kercher

Worryingly for Knox, Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz said that if the supreme court in Italy turns down her appeal, the United States will have little choice but to extradite her.

'The United States seeks extradition of more people than any country in the world. We’re trying to get NSA leaker Edward Snowden back and we’re not going to extradite someone convicted of murder?' he told NBC News.

Professor Dershowitz doubted that even double jeopardy will protect Knox because she was initially found guilty and her acquittal was heard at an intermediate appeals level.

'If that happened in the U.S., it wouldn't be double jeopardy,' he said.

However, a legal expert told CNN that Knox is not likely to serve any more prison time in Italy.

RETURNING TO ITALY: WILL DOUBLE JEOPARDY SAVE AMANDA KNOX?

 The ruling is set to spark a diplomatic tug-of-war between Italy and the US for Amanda Knox. Knox, who denies killing Meredith Kercher, has said she would rather become a fugitive than return to Italy and place her fate 'in the hands of people who very clearly want me in prison'.

But although she has attracted huge support from the American public, some legal experts believe the US would be reluctant to turn down an extradition request from Italy - especially as it makes so many requests itself.

She could be rescued by Ameria's double jeopardy rule, under which nobody can be tried twice for the same crime. The rule is explicity mentioned in the country's extradition treaty with Italy as an example of when the US may not co-operate.

However, double jeopardy in the US usually covers trials by jury, and Knox had been acquitted by appeal court judges. The Italians could use this to argue that her case is not covered by the rule.

The US State Department, which would have to decide whether to forcibly send Knox back to Italy, has refused to comment.

If the United States approves the extradition request then it is most likely that Knox will then begin a whole separate legal battle within the United States to stay and not be sent to Italy to serve her sentence.

Speaking at a press conference in Florence on Friday, 21-year-old Ms Kercher's brother Lyle and sister Stephanie said they could not draw a line under her death while the process was going on.

They called for Knox to be extradited from the US and declined to comment on reports that Sollecito had been arrested by Italian police close to the Austrian border.

'I think we are still on a journey for the truth and it may be the fact that we don't ever really know what happened that night, which is obviously something we'll have to come to terms with,' Stephanie said.

When asked if Knox should be extradited, Mr Kercher said: 'If somebody is found guilty and convicted of a murder and if an extradition law exists between those two countries, then I don't see why they wouldn't.'

This is the third time that American Knox and Sollecito have faced trial over the murder of Kercher, who died in Perugia in 2007.

Speaking to the Guardian for a series of interviews that were filmed before Thursday's verdict, Knox said that 'I'm definitely not going back to Italy willingly. They'll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don't deserve to be in. I will fight for my innocence.'

Back in Seattle and still reeling from the decision, Amanada Knox's parents told ABC News on Thursday evening that their daughter sat in stunned silence as the verdict was announced.

Admitting they were furious with the decision of the Italian court, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas said that as the crushing blow was announced, Knox seemed more concerned with the fate of former boyfriend, Sollecito.

'Amanda's upset, we were all shocked and upset, but we're all ready to fight too,' said Knox's mother Edda Mellas.

Knox lawyers shocked, Kercher lawyers satisfied with verdict

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Comment by Ruff de Gehto Travler on February 3, 2014 at 10:03am
I think she nuts if she goes back!!! maybe some ting supernatural !!! Happen!!!
Comment by OBAMA THE GOD on February 1, 2014 at 4:33pm

CRAZY LUNATIC

Comment by Big Woman on February 1, 2014 at 3:27am
Tell it @Anthony! We would be immediately put under the jail!
Comment by Anthony on February 1, 2014 at 2:26am
Only white folks can get away with saying that ish! A sister or a brother would have snatched up and extradited the next day! Let's see how the U.S. Handles this one?

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