More than 15 years after the murder of a British exchange student in Italy, a new trial has begun for the then main suspect and later acquitted American Amanda Knox. Since Wednesday, an appeals court in the central Italian city of Perugia has been dealing with the question of whether another conviction of the now 36-year-old for defamation was legal.

After her arrest, Knox accused a bartender of the crime and was therefore sentenced to three years in prison. She now lives back in the USA. She stayed away from the start of the new trial.

The murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in Perugia made headlines around the world in November 2007 and in the years that followed. Her roommate Amanda Knox (then 20) quickly came under suspicion and was arrested a few days after the body was found. The “angel with the ice eyes” was initially sentenced to a long prison sentence, but was ultimately acquitted in 2015 after four years in prison. The defamation verdict initially stood, but was then overturned by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in 2019.

With the new trial, Knox now wants to achieve a complete acquittal by the Italian justice system of the defamation allegations. At that time she was found guilty of incriminating a bartender friend during a police interrogation, even though she knew he was innocent. The American justified her false statement by saying she was in shock after the body was found and was beaten by the police.

It is still not clear who murdered the young British woman in Perugia. A 20-year-old man whose fingerprints were found at the crime scene was convicted of aiding and abetting murder. He is now at large again. The Amanda Knox case later became the basis for several books, films and a series.