(FLORENCE, Italy) Amanda Knox is on trial again for the 2007 murder of friend Meredith Kercher. But she opted not to return to Italy for the proceedings.
Italy’s highest court ordered a re-trial for Knox and her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, after Knox had already been convicted, then released after an appellate court overturned it in 2011.
Knox, 26, is being tried in absentia, though her lawyers are there to represent her. On Monday, Italian bar owner Diya Lumumba appeared, given the right to do so after Knox had finger-pointed him as being involved. Lumumba served two weeks in prison before authorities released him due to lack of evidence. Knox was ordered to pay Lumumba damages, but she has not yet done so.
Both Knox’s trial and the overturn of the verdict made international headlines, and opinions on who actually killed Kercher have been varied. Even being tried in absentia, Knox is again making first-page headlines across the US.
Knox told TODAY last week that her reason for not returning to Italy was simply “common sense”. “I thought about what it would be like to live my entire life in prison,” she said. “It’s so scary.”
If she’s convicted, Italy could seek Knox’s extradition, and many believe that’s what officials would do. Washington attorney Bruce Zagaris said if the country does decide to file for extradition, Knox’s fight would be “an uphill battle.”
On the books, the US respects the Italian justice system, but the American legal system also has a strong stand on “double jeopardy”. If Knox is found guilty, it’s likely her lawyers would argue that point as a means to persuade US courts not to send her back to Italy.