ROME – The judge who presided over Amanda Knox’s second murder conviction says he suffered over the verdict but that he and the jury reached agreement that she was guilty in the death of British student Meredith Kercher.
Judge Alessandro Nencini also suggested in an interview with Corriere della Sera, published Saturday, that the decision of Knox’s ex-boyfriend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito, not to testify may have worked against him. “It’s the defendant’s right, but it certainly deprived the process of a voice,” Nencini was quoted as saying. “He limited himself to spontaneous declarations. He said only what he wanted to say without letting himself be cross-examined.” Knox did not appear at the trial, but sent a letter to the court saying she feared wrongful conviction.
The newspaper said Nencini consented to the interview because he knew the sentence would create a media storm. The case has been top international news since Kercher was discovered in a pool of blood with her throat slit on Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment Knox and Kercher shared in the university town of Perugia.
Nencino did not give a specific reasoning behind the verdict, saying the court settled on a motive that would be made clear in the written explanation, expected within three months.
Lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito have said they would appeal, saying there was no proof that the two had committed the crime. Knox has said she will never willingly return to Italy to serve any sentence if the verdict is upheld.
Nencini said the court worked long and hard to process what he called “half a room” of documentation in recent months.
Asked if the final verdict was unanimous after 12 hours of deliberations, Nencini hedged, saying it was a “shared” decision.