Waking up at my usual hour of 5 am on Saturday, I heard the news that Amanda Knox and her former lover had been sensationally acquitted of the murder of English student Meredith Kercher the night before, in a surprise move that ended an eight-year legal saga.
Italy’s Supreme Court, after deliberating for more than ten hours, overturned the pair’s previous convictions in a ruling that stunned many a legal pundit throughout the world.
The reason that most observers were pessimistic as to the outcome was partly due to the over-vehemence of the original prosecutor of the case, who described Amanda as the devil incarnate, and with his bullying tactics that were vindictive and hateful, far beyond the accepted limits of court procedure. His own personal record to get convictions in other cases was rather shady and open to closer scrutiny.
Having avidly followed the case at the time and seen Amanda undergoing a torturous onslaught of abuse by the Italian legal system, which in my view presented concocted evidence unlikely to lead to a conviction, I felt that justice would be denied in that courtroom in Perugia in 2007.
The assassination of her character took many facets. Portrayed largely as a promiscuous temptress, Amanda stood no chance of a fair trial.
I wrote on my blog at the time that my gut feeling was that Amanda was innocent and yet had to bear being incarcerated for over four years in an Italian jail before she was released in her first acquittal in 2011.
Throughout her ordeal Amanda behaved with great dignity, stood her ground serenely and showed an inner determination, despite her youth. She became a media favourite and proved herself to be made of sterner stuff.
I’m glad she has survived the trauma of being criminalised until now.