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Amanda Knox: 'I will never willingly go back'

4:03 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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Video: Amanda Knox's ex-lover chokes up asking for acquittal

Video: Amanda Knox: I am innocent

Video: Amanda Knox Will Fight Her Murder Conviction

Amanda Knox (R), US national accused of the 2007 murder of her housemate Meredith Kercher arrives at the court during the resumption of her appeal trial in Perugia on September 30, 2011. (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

 


 


(USA TODAY) An emotional Amanda Knox said Friday that that she would "never willingly go back" to Italy, where an appeals court has declared her guilty of the 2007 murder of her roommate.

Knox, who lives in Seattle, told Good Morning America's Robin Roberts that the ruling Thursday "really hit me like a train."

"I did not expect this to happen," she told ABC. "I really expected so much more from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent once before."

Knox, now 26, spent four years in an Italian prison after being convicted of the murder of her English roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, where they were both studying in 2007.

"I will never go willingly back to the place where ... I'm going to fight this to the very end. It's not right and it's not fair," Knox said.

Italy's highest court will now review the case that has made headlines around the world for over half a decade and produce a final verdict.

If the conviction is upheld, Italian authorities may seek Knox's extradition, legal experts say, although it is not clear whether the State Department will cooperate with that process.

Knox also said she had sent a letter to her lawyer that is addressed to the Kercher's family.

"Mainly I just want them to know that I really understand that this is incredibly difficult, that they've also been on this never ending thing and when the case has been messed up so much, like a verdict is no longer consolation for them," she said.

Kercher's siblings spoke to the media on Friday, conceding that they may never know what happened to their sister after an Italian appeals court ruled that Knox and Raffaele Sollecito -- her former boyfriend -- were guilty of her 2007 murder.

Asked Friday whether Knox should be extradited to Italy following the guilty verdict, Lyle Kercher said: "Yes."

"If someone has been found guilty and convicted of a murder, and if an extradition law exists between those two countries," that would be appropriate, he said.

As Kercher's family addressed the news conference in Florence, an Italian media report by Rai News, later backed up by police who spoke to the Associated Press, alleged that Sollecito was "stopped near the border" with Slovenia and Austria.

It was not clear whether he was seeking to flee the country, but following the guilty verdict by the Italian court Thursday - for which the 29-year-old was handed a 25-year jail sentence - Sollecito was ordered to relinquish his passport and identity card. Knox's reinstated sentence was increased to 28.5 years, but she is currently in Seattle, where she lives.

"The guilty verdict is just the next step or us," said Stephanie Kercher, Meredith's sister, addressing the news conference. "We're still on a journey to the truth." Later she added: "We might never know" the true circumstances of Meredith's murder.

"We hope that we are nearer the end so that we can just start to remember Meredith for who she was," she added.

Meredith's brother, Lyle, said that nothing would ever take away from the horror of what happened.

Knox, who released a statement Thursday from her hometown, said she was "frightened and saddened by the unjust verdict" and blamed "overzealous and intransigent prosecution," ''narrow-minded investigation" and coercive interrogation techniques.

"This has gotten out of hand," Knox said in the statement. "Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system."

The AP reported that police found Sollecito at about 1 a.m. Friday at a hotel in Venzone, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the border, where he and his current girlfriend were staying. They took him to the Udine police station, took his passport and put a stamp in his Italian identity papers showing that he cannot leave the country.

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