Judge's Remarks Reignite Media Circus Around Amanda Knox Case

Amanda Knox

The judge who handed down last week's sentences said fellow defendant Raffaelle Sollecito's chances would have been better served by trying to place the blame on his ex-girlfriend.

ROME – Just days after an Italian court declared former exchange student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend guilty in the violent and grisly 2007 murder of Knox's British roommate, Meredith Kercher, the Italian media was up in arms after the judge who handed down the latest verdict weighed in on the case.

Judge Alessandro Nencini, who last Thursday sentenced Knox to 28.5 years behind bars and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito to 25, was interviewed by journalists over the weekend. In the interview, Nencini said Sollecito would have been better served if he had tried to point the finger at Knox rather than standing with a common defense.

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Lawyers for both Knox and Sollecito jumped on the remarks, charging bias in the judge's ruling, while the media questioned Nencini's motives and judgment. Several called for him to be sanctioned.

The case has been a media circus ever since Kercher was discovered with her throat cut in their shared apartment in the Umbrian hill town of Perugia in 2007. Knox and Sollecito were found guilty in 2009, but that verdict was overturned two years later. A retrial was called by the Supreme Court last year, ending with Thursday's verdict.

In recent weeks, the media have criticized Knox for refusing to return to Italy for the latest verdict. Sollecito stayed in his native country, and after the verdict Nencini ordered Sollecito's travel documents be taken from him to ensure he did not flee while the case was under appeal.

Twitter: @EricJLyman