BREAKING NEWS – Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito CLEARED of murdering Meredith Kercher: American screams with delight as Italian judges overturn conviction for killing British student in 2007

  • The pair are acquitted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in November 2007
  • Screams of joy heard from Knox’s home in Seattle as news came through
  • Knox was tried in-absentia while her co-accused was in the court in Rome
  • The ruling is ‘defeat for Italian justice system,’ Kercher’s family lawyer said
  • The pair were convicted of murdering Kercher in Perugia in December 2009
  • Acquitted in October 2011 before convictions were reinstated January 2014

Amanda Knox screamed with delight today as she was sensationally cleared of murdering her former room-mate Meredith Kercher, seven years after the British student was found dead in Italy.

Joyous shouting was heard from Knox’s back garden in Seattle as news came through that Italy’s highest court had overturned the murder conviction against her and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

The decision by the Supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case and definitively ends the gruelling legal battle waged by Knox and her co-defendant Sollecito.

Following the verdict, Ms Knox released a statement saying she is ‘tremendously relieved and grateful’ and knowing she was innocent gave her ‘strength in the darkest times of this ordeal’.

She added: ‘Throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me.’

And her father was seen hugging and kissing his wife Cassandra while her step-sisters Ashley and Delaney happily waved to photographers.

Those three women left the house and spoke openly about their excitment at the acquittal, saying: ‘We’re happy campers, we’re happy happy! Its about time – we knew all along.’

Their joy contrasts the shock felt by the family of deceased student Meredith Kercher.

Her mother Arline said: ‘I am a bit surprised, and very shocked if I’m honest. I don’t know what to say. They have been convicted twice so it’s a bit odd that it should change now.’

She added  that she could not see how evidence previously accepted could now be discredited.

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Moment of truth: Amanda Knox (pictured on the phone to her lawyer moments ago) said she was 'tremendously relieved after being cleared of murdering her room mate Meredith Kercher in 2007

Moment of truth: Amanda Knox (pictured on the phone to her lawyer moments ago) said she was ‘tremendously relieved after being cleared of murdering her room mate Meredith Kercher in 2007

Relief: She screamed with delight when the news came in that she and her co-defendent and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were cleared of murdering Kercher

Relief: She screamed with delight when the news came in that she and her co-defendent and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were cleared of murdering Kercher

Grateful: She added: ‘Throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers

Grateful: She added: ‘Throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers

Faith: Knox released a statement saying knowing she was innocent gave her ‘strength in the darkest times’

Overjoyed: Knox's father Curt passionately embraced his wife Cassandra in Seattle as their daughter was cleared of murder

Overjoyed: Knox’s father Curt passionately embraced his wife Cassandra in Seattle as their daughter was cleared of murder

'Screams of delight': Amanda Knox's family and friends were heard screaming 'freedom' in her mother Cassandra's back garden 

‘Screams of delight’: Amanda Knox’s family and friends were heard screaming ‘freedom’ in her mother Cassandra’s back garden

Party: Amanda Knox's friends and family were heard yelling with joy in her mother's home in Seattle

Party: Amanda Knox’s friends and family were heard yelling with joy in her mother’s home in Seattle

Celebration: Various friends and family members gathered in Knox's home town of Seattle to celebrate her acquittal

Celebration: Various friends and family members gathered in Knox’s home town of Seattle to celebrate her acquittal

Relief: Knox's father was seen hugging and kissing his wife Cassandra while her step-sisters Ashley and Delaney (not pictured) happily waved to photographers 

Relief: Knox’s father was seen hugging and kissing his wife Cassandra while her step-sisters Ashley and Delaney (not pictured) happily waved to photographers

Loyalty: A chunk of concrete on Amanda Knox's father's house (pictured on Wednesday) was engraved with the words: 'The world loves Amanda'

Loyalty: A chunk of concrete on Amanda Knox’s father’s house (pictured on Wednesday) was engraved with the words: ‘The world loves Amanda’

Final decision: Today's decision ends a gruelling legal battle following Kercher's death in Italy in 2007, when she was found with her throat cut and showed signs of sexual assault 

Final decision: Today’s decision ends a gruelling legal battle following Kercher’s death in Italy in 2007, when she was found with her throat cut and showed signs of sexual assault

Closure: 'Finished!' her lawyer Carlo Vedova (not pictured) yelled in Rome after the decision was read out

Closure: ‘Finished!’ her lawyer Carlo Vedova (not pictured) yelled in Rome after the decision was read out

Finished: Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno (pictured) spoke to the media after the seven-year-long legal battle was finally put to rest

Finished: Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer Giulia Bongiorno (pictured) spoke to the media after the seven-year-long legal battle was finally put to rest

Various friends and family members gathered in the back garden amid an atmosphere of relief and jubilation and people could be heard yelling: ‘Freedom! Freedom!’

Earlier this afternoon, two men arrived at Knox’s home with what looked like a case of beer and shortly afterwards her step-sister Ashley Knox, sister Deanna and stepmother Cassandra turned up with bags of food and looked positive and happy as they awaited the court in Rome’s verdict.

‘Finished!’ her lawyer Carlo Vedova yelled in Rome after the decision was read out, adding: ‘It couldn’t be better than this.’

Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her home town of Seattle, and Sollecito have long maintained their innocence.

Knox and Sollecito were originally convicted of murder and sexual assault in December 2009 and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in jail respectively.

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