They are victims of the Italian obsession with conspiracy theories
At the end of this month a court in Florence will reach its verdict on the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Rafaele Sollecito. As everyone knows, Knox and Sollecito were convicted of murdering Meredith Kercher; then, after they had both served four years in jail, the verdict was overturned on appeal; this latest court case is an appeal against the appeal; if the appeal is overturned, then Knox and Sollecito go back to jail, in theory at least.
There is plenty in the papers and on the internet about the case, and as it approaches this latest legal milestone, which might or might not be the finishing post in the marathon, the interest and the coverage is sure to heighten.
There is one thing worth bearing in mind: there is no trustworthy forensic evidence that puts either Knox or Sollecito in the room where the murder happened. The evidence on which they were convicted was an elaborate theory that Meredith Kercher was killed in as sex game that went wrong. At first there was mention of some sort of Satanic inspiration to this sex game, but that talk has long been abandoned by the prosecution.
We are no longer being asked to believe that Miss Knox is a witch, or that Sollecito was her dumb accomplice; but we are being asked to believe that Knox and Sollecito were the sort of people who had sex a quatre, where there is absolutely no hint of this in their previous histories. Indeed, it is quite incredible that Sollecito, who had known Knox but a week, and who has never met Guede, the other supposed participant, should ever have indulged in such perversion, given his personal history; nor is there any reason at all to suppose Knox would have found a four handed sex game at all alluring.
Knox and Sollecito are the innocent victims of the Italian love, nay, obsession with, conspiracy theories. There was no conspiracy. Meredith Kercher was killed by Rudy Guede, who is now serving 16 years for the crime.
Miss Knox is in the fortunate position of being in America, which means that if the verdict goes against her, the chances of her ever having to serve time are practically nil. No American court would ever consent to her extradition, so she will be safe at home. Sollecito does not have Uncle Sam to protect him. His life has been ruined by this case hanging over him, and he, along with Knox, deserves our pity, our sympathy and our prayers. These two young people are caught up in a Kafkaesque nightmare; quite apart from the personal cost, and four years in prison, their families have had to deal with huge financial burdens as well. I hope and pray that the Florentine court will uphold their innocence and put a definitive end to their ordeal.