Posted Mar 26, 2013 12:55 pm CDT
Italy’s highest court has ordered a retrial of Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the 2007 murder of Knox’s roommate.
The ruling overturns an appellate acquittal of the pair. The decision on Tuesday “was greeted by a shocked silence in the courtroom,” the New York Times reports. USA Today and the Associated Press also have stories. An appeals court will rehear the case, although the issues that must be reconsidered won’t be known until the full ruling by the Court of Cassation is released.
Knox and Sollecito had been convicted in 2009 in the death of Meredith Kercher, but they were freed in 2011 after an appeals court acquitted them, citing problems with the evidence. The murder weapon was never found and DNA tests were faulty, the appeals court had said. Prosecutors had initially contended that the death was the result of a sex game that went bad.
Prosecutors in Italy are allowed to appeal acquittals. Double jeopardy doesn’t bar the retrial because the ruling was not final, Knox’s lawyer, Carlo Dalla Vedova, told the Times.
Knox is currently enrolled at the University of Washington in the United States and is unlikely to travel to Italy for the retrial, Dalla Vedova, said. Italy could seek Knox’s extradition if she is convicted in a new trial.