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Amanda Knox Update: Books by Knox and Raffaele Sollecito may be focus of retrial

Amanda Knox gestures at a news conference in Seattle Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, after returning home from Italy. Knox was freed Monday after an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction for the death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Amanda Knox during a news conference in Seattle on Oct. 4, 2011, after returning home from Italy.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
(CBS) -- That line you might soon see forming outside of English-language instruction classes in Italy will not be a sudden urge by Italians to learn a second language. It's more likely Italian prosecutors fortifying themselves for when Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are once again retried for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

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On Tuesday, the Italian Supreme Court overturned Knox and Sollecito's 2011 acquittal of murdering Meredith Kercher in Perugia in November 2007. Now, Knox and Sollecito will go through a second appellate trial, which will likely begin by mid-2014. The trial will take place in Florence and, of course, be in Italian.

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So why would the Knox-Sollecito prosecutors have this intense interest in the English language? Two books.

Perhaps for the first time, two defendants, each charged with a brutal, infamous murder, will have written books discussing the case against them before they go to trial.

In 2012, Raffaele Sollecito penned "Honor Bound," and made the round of talk shows in the United States. But the full title of the book may be more apt after the Italian Supreme Court ruling yesterday; "Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox." Next month, Amanda Knox's own memoir, "Waiting to be Heard," will be published.

But as one British newspaper said yesterday, the books might prove problematic now that there's to be a retrial. Sollecito's book, the newspaper said, "draws heavily on diaries, casts doubt over where Knox was the night of the murder and accuses her of "bizarre behaviour."

As sure as you can say Rosetta Stone, Italian prosecutors will scour through every single page, every English word, in both books, looking for anything -- inconstancies, memory lapses, contradictions -- that might help their case against the former lovers.

One thing that both Knox and Sollecito could have going for them, though, is that Florence, not Perugia, will be the venue for the next trial.

Some in the Florentine judiciary have already shown a willingness to take a no-nonsense attitude when dealing with Perugia Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, a dogged pursuer of both Knox and Sollecito.

A few years ago, a judge in Florence actually convicted Mignini of abuse of his public office in a case unrelated to Knox and Sollecito. But in a country where appellate courts frequently hold sway, Mignini's conviction was thrown out on appeal last year because of arcane problems with the original venue for his trial, Florence.

Though Giuliano Mignini will not be the lead prosecutor in the retrial of Knox and Sollecito next year, one can easily see him lending fury to the appellate prosecution, either from near or afar.

Let's not forget that the sole, DNA-implicated defendant convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher is Rudy Guede, the Ivory Coast-born immigrant who was a local gadfly in Perugia when Kercher was killed. Guede is currently serving an appellate court-reduced 16 year sentence. But with good behavior he could get out early. Say, as early as 2017? And just about then, if the Perugia prosecutors have their fantasies met, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito would have exhausted all their re-trials and appeals and would be found guilty. And Rudy Guede could be walking out of prison at the same time!

Complete coverage of Amanda Knox on Crimesider

  • Doug Longhini

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