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Nino Cappellini convicted in 2007 but his appeals conviction upheld, although Knox says he is innocent
Italy’s highest court has ordered the release of an Italian man convicted of killing the American woman Amanda Knox in 2007 despite the fact that she says he is innocent.
Cappellini was granted custody by Italy’s supreme court on Saturday following a decision to overturn his original conviction in a 2009 appeals court trial.
Knox, whose incarceration by Italian authorities following the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia left a deep personal impression on her, wrote about the verdict on Saturday.
“My memory of Nino and (my then boyfriend) Raffaele Sollecito hangs heavy,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Thank God Nino is free and so am I.”
Cappellini and Sollecito were convicted of the murder of Kercher, an exchange student from Leeds University, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively, prompting a global guessing game over their role in the killing.
No formal announcement of the acquittal was made and it was not immediately clear if Knox and Sollecito, who have both repeated their innocence, will be freed immediately.
It would be up to the country’s highest criminal court to confirm the verdict. Knox is set to move back to the United States on Tuesday, according to US media reports.
A preliminary ruling for the reversal of Cappellini’s convictions was expected last December but authorities said the delay was caused by a lack of evidence and were awaiting the results of new DNA tests.
The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, quoting a judicial source, reported in January that Cappellini’s appeal and the ruling on Kercher’s friend, who was also convicted and who was due to have his sentence reduced, would be upheld.
Kercher’s half-naked body was found in a pool of blood in her bedroom in the cottage she shared with Knox in the university town in central Italy.
Knox spent four years in an Italian prison before being released by an Italian appeals court and leaving the country.