Wednesday, 5 October 2011
Amanda Knox arrives home
Amanda Knox has arrived home in Seattle saying she is overwhelmed to be back in the US following her acquittal for the murder of Meredith Kercher and thanking "everyone who believed in me".
Visibly emotional and shaking, Knox, who spent four years in an Italian prison, spoke briefly to supporters at a news conference after alighting at Seattle-Tacoma international airport shortly after 5pm local time.
"I'm really overwhelmed right now," she said. "I was looking down from the airplane and it seemed like everything wasn't real."
Knox, 24, and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, were cleared on appeal on Monday of the 2007 killing of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy.
Knox sobbed and held her mother's hand as her lawyer, Theodore Simon, said her acquittal "unmistakably announced to the world" she was not responsible for the killing.
After her parents offered their thanks to her lawyers and supporters, Knox spoke briefly, saying: "They're reminding me to speak in English, because I'm having problems with that."
"Thank you to everyone who's believed in me, who's defended me, who's supported my family.
"My family's the most important thing to me so I just want to go and be with them, so thank you for being there for me."
Knox's father, Curt, later spoke to reporters outside his house, where there was a small welcome home party but no sign of his daughter.
He said Amanda "needed her space" and had not agreed to any media deals. "She has been in a concrete bunker for four years."
Curt Knox said Amanda would like to return to the University of Washington at some point to finish her degree, but for now "the focus simply is Amanda's wellbeing and getting her reassociated with just being a regular person again".
He said he was concerned about what four years in prison may have done to his daughter. "What's the trauma … and when will it show up, if it even shows up?" he said. "She's a very strong girl but it's been a tough time for her."
Her lawyer described the Knox family's situation as a "gruelling, four-year nightmarish marathon that no child or parent should have to endure".
"Meredith was Amanda's friend. Amanda and the family want you to remember Meredith and keep the Kercher family in your prayers," he said.
On Tuesday the family of Meredith Kercher said that they were back to "square one". Monday's decision "obviously raises further questions", her brother Lyle Kercher said. "If those two are not the guilty parties, then who are the guilty people?"
Rudy Guede's conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher is the only one that still stands. His sentence was cut to 16 years in his final appeal. His lawyer has said he will seek a retrial.
The prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, has expressed disbelief that the convictions of Knox and Sollecito were overturned and said he will appeal to Italy's highest criminal court after receiving the reasoning behind the acquittals, due within 90 days.
"Let's wait and we will see who was right. The first court or the appeal court," Mignini said. "This trial was done under unacceptable media pressure."
Anne Bremner, a Seattle defence lawyer and spokesman for Friends of Amanda Knox, said Amanda was looking forward to having a backyard barbecue, being outside on the grass, playing football and seeing old friends.
by Lee Glendinning taken from http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/05/amanda-knox-seattle-meredith-kercher