Italian court orders new trial for Amanda Knox

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ROME — Italy’s highest criminal court ordered an entire new trial for Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend today, overturning their acquittals in the gruesome slaying of her British roommate.

The move extended a prolonged legal battle that has become a cause celebre in the United States and raised a host of questions about how the next phase of Italian justice would play out.

Knox, now a 25-year-old University of Washington student in her hometown of Seattle, called the decision by the Rome-based Court of Cassation “painful” but said she was confident that she would be exonerated.

The American left Italy a free woman after the 2011 acquittal and after serving nearly four years of a 26-year prison sentence from a lower court that convicted her of murdering Meredith Kercher. The 21-year-old British exchange student’s body was found in November 2007 in a pool of blood in the bedroom of a rented house that the two shared in the Italian university town of Perugia. Her throat had been slit.

Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s Italian boyfriend at the time, was also convicted and acquitted.

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