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Amanda Knox vows to ‘fight for the truth’ after Italian court convicts her again of slander

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MILAN (AP) — Amanda Knox told Italian TV on Thursday that she was surprised by a Florence appeals court’s decision to find her guilty of slander in light of a European court ruling that police who took her confession had violated her human rights.

“I will fight for the truth,’’ Knox told Sky TG24 in her first public comments since the guilty verdict on Wednesday. “It’s been 17 years that I have been unjustly accused.”

Knox was a 20-year-old exchange student in the university town of Perugia when she and her then-Italian boyfriend were accused of murdering her housemate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher, who was found dead in the apartment they shared on Nov. 2, 2007.

After years of flip-flop trials, they were exonerated in 2015, but the slander conviction endured against Knox for wrongly accusing an innocent man, the Congolese bar owner who employed her part time. She served four years in prison before being freed on an earlier acquittal in 2011, covering the three-year slander sentence.

Another man, Rudy Hermann Guede of Ivory Coast, was convicted of killing Kercher and served 13 years of a 16-year sentence.

Knox was on hand in the Florence court on Wednesday when she was reconvicted of slandering Patrick Lumumba, who was held for two weeks on suspicion of murder before police released him with an iron-clad alibi.

Italy’s highest court ordered the retrial after a European Court of Human Rights ruling that her human rights had been violated during a long night of questioning without a lawyer or competent translator, when she accused Lumumba in two statements typed by police that she signed.

The high court stipulated that the Florence appeals panel could not consider the two signed documents, but only four handwritten pages penned by Knox the next afternoon in a bid to walk back the statements.

“There is one document in question, that we can all read, and the message of this document is, ‘I don’t know who killed Meredith.’ I thought I was extremely clear,’’ Knox said in fluent Italian.

Knox insists that she named Lumumba under extreme police pressure.

“I was abused, mistreated, psychologically tortured by police that night,” Knox said in the TV interview. “It was the worst experience of my life. It was worse than being convicted, to tell the truth, because they made me think I was crazy, that I couldn’t trust myself.”

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