Rome

Knox meets ex ahead of retrial for Kercher murder

American's acquittal overturned by supreme court in March

Knox meets ex ahead of retrial for Kercher murder

(By Emily Backus) Rome, June 20 - Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito met in New York City ahead of their retrial for the murder of Meredith Kercher, the Daily Mirror reported on Thursday. The British tabloid splashed pictures of the pair warmly embracing and chatting, followed by Knox's mother, who the newspaper said chaperoned the pair during a meeting in Manhattan on Tuesday. Knox, 25, last month told CNN she was afraid to go back to Italy after the supreme court overturned her acquittal for murder. ''I'm afraid to go back there,'' she said in the interview televised on May 7. Knox was serving a 26-year sentence for the 2007 murder of fellow student Meredith Kercher when an appeals court overturned a lower court's ruling in 2011, setting her free to return to the US. But in March, Italy's supreme Court of Cassation overturned the acquittal, setting the stage for a retrial at the appeals level. Her Italian boyfriend at the time of Kercher's death, Sollecito, 29, is also accused of the murder. In a document explaining its reasons for overturning the acquittal of Knox and Sollecito, the Cassation said Tuesday that unanswered questions, from the precise time of death to the actions of the accused, had to be explained in the new appeals trial. It also said the death could have been the result of an erotic game, as prosecutors had argued at the pair's previous trials. It raised several other questions that it said had be dealt with when the new appeals trial in Florence is held - likely in the fall. Judges questioned the precise time of death of Kercher - three women in the area said they heard a ''heartbreaking'' scream somewhere between 11 pm and 11:30 pm, although another witness said it was much earlier. And they questioned if the murder was the work of one or more people. Only one man, Rudy Guede, was convicted of the slaying in a separate proceeding and is serving a 16-year sentence. The judges also pointed out testimony that Knox was seen buying detergent a few hours after Kercher's murder, although she testified she was at Sollecito's house until 10 a.m. the morning after her roommate's death. In March, a top prosecutor argued before the Cassation that justice was lost when the pair's murder convictions were overturned. The judgment of Perugia's appeals court was ''a rare concentration of violations of the law and of a lack of logic and I think (the acquittal decision) must be undone,'' prosecutor-General Luigi Riello said at the time. Knox told her own account of the ordeal in a new book entitled ''Waiting to be Heard''. ''In Italy,'' Knox told CNN in May, ''people think it's arrogant of me to sit here in the United States and have a book come out and defend myself. And first of all, I find that incredibly unfair, because I have the right to defend myself. And no one can ask me to just shut up because it's convenient. But at the same time, I want to prove to them that I care about what's going on''.

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