Amanda Knox, the American who was convicted and then exonerated of murdering her housemate while they were studying in Italy, is expected on Wednesday to appear again in an Italian court — this time to defend herself against slander charges related to the 2007 killing.

It is the latest twist in a dramatic legal journey whose echoes continue to reverberate nearly 17 years after the murder of the housemate, Meredith Kercher, a British student, elicited headlines around the world and turned Ms. Knox into a tabloid staple.

Ms. Knox is being tried again on charges that she slandered the owner of a bar where she worked by accusing him of killing Ms. Kercher, who was stabbed. She was convicted of the slander charge in 2009 and it was upheld by various Italian courts.

But a European court ruling and a change in Italian law allowed a new appeal by Ms. Knox, and Italy’s highest court in October ordered a retrial, which began in April in an appellate court in Florence. A verdict is expected on Wednesday.

For Ms. Knox, an acquittal would mark the end of a long ordeal. Writing on the social media platform X on Monday, Ms. Knox said she would appear in the court and hoped to “clear my name once and for all of the false charges against me.”

Ms. Knox became a household name in 2007 when the then 20-year old American was arrested with Raffaele Sollecito, 23, her boyfriend, for the murder of her 21-year-old housemate, Ms. Kercher, during what prosecutors described as a sex game gone wrong. All three were studying in the picturesque central Italian city of Perugia.

Ms. Knox was convicted in 2009 of the killing by an Italian court but acquitted on appeal. She returned to the United States in 2011 while her case bounced between various courts until she and Mr. Sollecito were exonerated by Italy’s highest court in 2015.

The conviction for slander against the bar owner, Diya Lumumba, also known as Patrick, was upheld throughout her various trials.

Since returning to the United States, Ms. Knox, now 36 and the mother of two small children, has become an advocate for people incarcercerated for crimes they did not commit and a campaigner for criminal justice reform.

Rudy Guede, a Perugia resident with a police history of break-ins, was tried separately and convicted in the murder case. He served 13 years of a 16-year-sentence and was released in 2021, recently making headlines after a former girlfriend accused him of physically abusing her. His lawyer said this week that the case involving the former girlfriend was still being investigated.

Mr. Lumumba, who at the time ran Le Chic, a bar where Ms. Knox worked part time, became collateral damage in the case after Ms. Knox identified him as Ms. Kercher’s killer during an all-night interrogation a few days after the murder.

Ms. Knox recanted within hours of signing two statements accusing him, and those statements were later ruled inadmissible in court. But Mr. Lumumba was arrested, held in prison for two weeks and released only after one of his clients provided an airtight alibi.

Mr. Lumumba sued for slander, and Ms. Knox was found guilty and sentenced to three years, which she served during her four years in prison.

In a December 2023 episode of “Labyrinths,” the podcast she hosts with her husband, Christopher Robinson, Ms. Knox said the slander conviction still disturbed her.

For some, she said, it was “proof that I am a liar and I am an unsavory person and that I have something to hide and I’ve never told the full truth about what happened to Meredith and only somebody who was involved in the crime would ever even make statements that implicated themselves and others.”

Ms. Knox — who had arrived in Perugia just two months before the murder — has maintained that she was coerced into accusing Mr. Lumumba during a nightlong interrogation in which she had no legal representation. During the interrogation, Ms. Knox said she was slapped on the back of the head by the police.

There are no recordings of the interrogations that night, and Italian police officers had sued Ms. Knox for slander for her depiction of the interrogation. She was tried and acquitted in 2016.

In 2019, Europe’s top human rights court ruled that Ms. Knox had been deprived of adequate legal assistance while being interrogated, violating her right to a fair trial, and ordered Italy to pay her 18,400 euros, or about $21,000 at the time, in damages, costs and expenses. The court also raised questions about the role of Ms. Knox’s interpreter, and said that Ms. Knox’s statements during the interrogation “had been taken in an atmosphere of intense psychological pressure.”

At the April hearing related to the slander case, the Italian prosecutor and Carlo Pacelli, Mr. Lumumba’s lawyer, argued that Ms. Knox had knowingly accused the bar owner to deflect attention from herself and derail the investigation.

Jurors at the hearing Wednesday will be asked to consider the four-page statement she wrote to recant the two signed statements she made accusing Mr. Lumumba, “as well as the context and the evidence on record,” Mr. Pacelli said in a telephone interview. Even though she knew his client was innocent, Ms. Knox never relayed that fact to investigators, he said.

In the handwritten statement, she writes of her confusion: “I want to make clear that I’m very doubtful of the verity of my statements because they were made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion.”

Ms. Knox had been ordered to pay damages to Mr. Lumumba, but Mr. Pacelli said she had never given any money to his client. Because of the accusation, Mr. Lumumba lost his business and he left Italy with his family. He now lives in Krakow, Poland, and did not respond to requests for comment.

“This is a trial that every now and then offers some very surprising twists and turns,” Mr. Pacelli said.



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