crimesider

Amanda Knox verdict: Could she be extradited back to Italy?

Less than 24 hours after Amanda Knox was convicted again for the murder of her roommate in Italy, Knox's ex-boyfriend was picked up by police.

He is not under arrest at this point. But Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted for a second time in the 2007 death of Meredith Kercher.

For Knox, a new battle begins: the fight against extradition from the U.S.

A Seattle native, Knox had refused to return to Italy for this third trial, saying she had already suffered greatly from what she describes as a wrongful and perverted justice system.

But Knox and Sollecito are now guilty again of Kercher's murder.

"We might never know the truth. We can only go by what's out there in reports and documents," Stephanie Kercher, the victim's sister, said Friday,

In a statement, Knox blamed her latest conviction on, "overzealous and intransigent prosecution …  reliance on unreliable testimony and evidence ..." and "character assassination."

Knox, at a café in Seattle, had spoken to a reporter from the London newspaper, The Guardian, of her fears before the verdict was announced. "The Italian government would approach the American government and say, 'extradite her,' and I don't know what would happen," she said.

Could Knox be sent back to Italy? Julian Ku, a Hofstra law professor, says the U.S. isn't necessarily a safe haven for Amanda.  "This is a case where extradition would be appropriate because she's already been convicted," Ku said.

Any decision on whether to extradite the 26-year-old from the U.S. is likely months away, at least. Experts have said it's unlikely that Italy's justice ministry would request Knox's extradition before the verdict is finalized by the country's high court. If the conviction is upheld, a lengthy extradition process would likely ensue, with the U.S. State Department ultimately deciding whether to turn Knox back over to Italian authorities to finish serving her sentence.

In November, 2007, Kercher's body was discovered inside a house she shared with Knox and a group of other students. She had been stabbed to death. Knox and her boyfriend, Sollecito, were famously photographed kissing outside the murder scene. They were arrested days later after Knox confessed to police interrogators during grueling questioning -- a confession she later recanted. 

Authorities also arrested Rudy Guede. His DNA and bloody fingerprint were found in the room where Kercher died. Guede was convicted in 2008.

In 2009, Knox and Sollecito were convicted, and then acquitted in a second trial in 2011, and just Thursday, found guilty again.

Peter Van Sant of "48 Hours" -- who has followed the case since the beginning -- said on "CTM": "In this seemingly never ending game of legal ping pong, Knox will appeal to Italy's Supreme Court. We have also been told the family may appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, which has the power to overturn this verdict."

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