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LONDON – Amanda Knox’s successful appeal against her conviction for the killing of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy was initially reported by British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mail as being unsuccessful.
The Mail’s online site inexplicably carried a story announcing Knox’s appeal against her murder conviction of British student Kercher had been rejected.
The article, which appeared online just before 2100 BST stayed up for nearly half an hour, included “reactions” from prosecutors who were said to be delighted with the news that Knox would be going back to jail.
Minutes later, the correct news that Knox had been set free and her convictions overturned, dominated the airwaves, internet and radio as the Italian court’s real decision was made public.
The Mail’s website story also carried info that Knox’s boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, was to also remain in custody for the remainder of his original 25 year sentence.
He was also subsequently released and found not guilty murder.
The inaccurate article was accompanied by the headline “Guilty: Amanda Knox looks stunned as appeal against murder conviction is rejected.”
Shortly after the correct verdict came down, web browsers looking for the article were met with the following message:
The page you have requested does not exist or is no longer available.
If you have typed the URL in by hand, please make sure you have entered it correctly, with no capital letters of spaces.”
The article, complete with quotes from prosecutors claiming “justice had been done” by the verdict that later turned out to be the wrong one, was captured by sites including WhatCulture.com and PaidContent.co.uk.
When contacted by The Hollywood Reporter a spokesman for The Daily Mail’s online team simply said “there is noone available at the moment” to offer a reaction to the web error.
The story, under the byline Nick Pisa online, included details such as the fact Knox “looked stunned this evening after she dramatically lost her prison appeal against her murder conviction.”
It later emerged Knox collapsed in tears after hearing her conviction had been quashed.
The correct verdict and Knox’s reaction to her release made the early editions of most the newspapers here with the Daily Mail, the paper format version of the MailOnline carrying a story about how much money Knox could potentially make from her story.
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