Giambrone Law say that it is highly unlikely that the US Government will ever extradite American student Amanda Knox to Italy. It is expected that Knox’s lawyers will prevent the extradition by citing the USA’s ‘double jeopardy’ rule. This rule says that you cannot be tried twice for the same crime. However, Giambrone Law says that in reality there has been no ‘double jeopardy’ in this case.
The extradition treaty between Italy and the US permits the American government the right to deny an extradition request if the double jeopardy rule applies.
Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty of the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007. Both had been cleared on appeal, but last year Italy's highest court annulled that verdict. Under Italian law this means that Knox and Sollecito were no longer considered to have been declared innocent. The subsequent retrial has found the defendants guilty.
Giambrone Law expect that there will now be a further appeal to the Italian Supreme Court by Knox and Sollecito.
Gabriele Giambrone, Managing Partner of Giambrone Law, comments on the prosecution of Amanda Knox: “If the Supreme Court finds Amanda Knox guilty then legally there is nothing to prevent her being extradited. The double jeopardy rule does not apply in Italy and given that she was never technically found innocent because that verdict was annulled, the rule should not be evoked by the US.”
“However, I expect the U.S. will do everything to protect its citizens. They will mount every challenge possible so I don't think Knox serve any time in an Italian jail especially given the massive support campaign behind her.”
Giambrone Law points out that there is a precedent for the US to deny extradition. The US government refused to extradite an American pilot who during military training flew under a ski lift and sliced through the cables.
Sollecito, who has been charged as an accomplice, returned to Italy of his own free will to face trial. He has had his passport confiscated and cannot leave Italy. It is likely that he will face 25 years in prison as it is not thought that his new appeal will succeed.”
“The likely outcome of the latest trial is that Knox will live freely despite being found guilty of murder while her accomplice goes to jail. This outcome is grossly unfair.”
“In Italy there is the expectation that the party who pushes the system and does not play by the rules will come out on top. This case will unfortunately reinforce this idea.”
“In the prosecution of Amanda Knox, and Sollecito, no new evidence was introduced. Different judges looked at the same evidence and came to the opposite conclusion in a case that has dragged through the courts for seven years.”
“Anyone facing trial in Italy will now be wondering how reliable the system is.”
“The Amanda Knox case highlights the mess the Italian legal system is in. It is high time for the criminal, and commercial, legal system to be overhauled.”
Gabriele Giambrone adds: “The prosecution of Amanda Knox could lead to a diplomatic row between Italy and the US which would benefit neither side.”
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