(CBS News) Italy's highest criminal courtthe 2011 acquittal of Amanda Knox in the murder of her British roommate. The court ordered a new trial to re-hear the case against Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend for the murder of Knox's roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.
Shortly after the news broke, Knox issued a statement through her lawyer that said: "It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution's theory of my involvement in Meredith's murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair."
CBS News legal analyst Jack Ford said that, unlike the justice system in the U.S. where an appeals court ruling is final, the high court in Italy had the power to go back and throw out her acquittal, essentially bringing the case back "to the very beginning."
Italian prosecutors will now decide if they're going to re-try her, Ford said before adding, "You have to believe they will. Otherwise why would they have gone through this process all the way up to here?"
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The Italian court cannot compel Knox to return to Italy, and whether she will appear in the Italian courtroom for her third trial remains the big question.
"If I'm her lawyer, I'm saying there is no way in the world I'm going to let you go back to Italy and be tried," Ford said.
The trial can move forward and Knox can be tried in absentia.
"If you voluntarily absent yourself from a courtroom, you can still be tried there," Ford explained. If she is found guilty in the new trial, the verdict raises an "entirely new set of legal questions," namely, "whether or not she gets extradited" from the U.S. to Italy.
Details of the ruling were not issued on Tuesday and will not be issued publicly for several weeks.