Amanda Knox says 'The trial was carried out correctly'

Former student Amanda Knox reportedly said Tuesday that she has faith in Italian justice and hopes her guilty verdict for murder will be overturned on appeal.

By , Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

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    Amanda Knox turns around during a final hearing at the court in Perugia, Italy, Dec. 4.
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Amanda Knox diplomatically tip-toed around the furore in the US over her 26-year-prison sentence for murdering her British flatmate, saying Tuesday that she felt she had received a fair trial but that she hoped the guilty verdict would be overturned on appeal.

The former college student from Seattle spoke publicly for the first time since Friday, when she burst into tears after a jury in the central Italian town of Perugia found her and her one-time boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty of killing Meredith Kercher from Surrey, in southern England.

Journalists have not been allowed access to Knox but she spoke to an Italian MP who regularly makes prison visits and he conveyed her remarks to a respected daily newspaper, Corriere della Sera.

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"The trial was carried out correctly," Knox told the legislator, Walter Verini, from the centre-left opposition Democratic Party. "My rights were respected."

"I still have faith in Italian justice. I have a crazy urge to be free but there is only one path I have chosen for leaving here, and that is the appeal that my lawyers are preparing," said Knox, dressed in a brown sweatshirt and brown T-shirt, according to Corriere della Serra, which doesn't make it clear whether the Italian MP recorded Knox's words or paraphrased it himself.

She said she was bitterly disappointed at being found guilty of the murder, in which she and Sollecito have always denied having any involvement.

"I thought I would be home for Christmas, but instead I have to wait," she said.

Treading lightly

In choosing her words carefully, and refraining from criticizing the Italian justice system, Knox appeared to be easing away from the anger that erupted in the US after the verdict was handed down.

Italian prosecutors have been stung by the ferocity of the condemnation of the verdict in the US and any further attacks would only exacerbate an already delicate situation.

Knox said she was aware from family visits and from the television in her cell that Sen. Maria Cantwell (D) of Washington, Knox's home state, has said that she has "serious questions" about the trial and fears the outcome may have been influenced by "anti-Americanism."

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she has not yet looked into the case but would meet with anyone who had concerns about it.

Prison life

As Knox tries to come to terms with the first week of her 26-year prison sentence, details have emerged of her life in Capanne prison, near Perugia.

While her lawyers prepare an appeal, which is likely to start sometime late next year, she has chosen to work in the laundry of the female wing of the prison. She also hopes to continue her language studies through a distance learning course with the University of Washington, where she was studying when she elected to take a year out in Italy.

As with the two years she has spent in jail since being arrested on suspicion of murder, she spends her days writing and reading and studying languages.

She has been moved from her old cell, which she shared with three women prisoners, to a smaller, two-bed cell equipped with two desks, two wardrobes, and a television.

Her new cellmate is a fellow American, a 53-year-old woman from Louisiana who is serving a four-year sentence for drug dealing.

Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, is expected to visit the US embassy in Rome on Friday to discuss the case with diplomats.

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