March 28, 2015: UPDATE: Italy’s highest court on Friday overturned the guilty verdicts against Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher. The court acquitted Knox and Sollecito in the murder of Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old exchange student who was found dead in the home she shared with Knox and two other roommates in the Italian city of Perugia.
Under the rule of Italian criminal procedure, the chief appellate prosecutor in Florence—the venue of the last appeal—will have the option of asking the minister of justice to make that request. (The minister, Andrea Orlando, is a political appointee of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.) If he makes that request, the State Department must respond, and the Knox story will become a Washington, D.C., story. If State approves it, the request goes to the Department of Justice, which in turn sends a request to the U.S. attorney in whatever district Knox resides in. That U.S. attorney would file a complaint and arrest her, then ship her back to Italy.
Knox’s best chance for avoiding extradition would be to convince the State Department to rebuff the Italian minister of justice. Knox now has some of the best legal defense in the nation: She is represented by Washington lawyer Bob Barnett, who has represented President Bill Clinton, among other luminaries. Barnett has instructed the Knox family not to speak about this matter, and he declined to comment to Newsweek.
A State Department source tells Newsweek that diplomats in both Italy and the U.S. expect an extradition request to be denied: “I don’t think either Italy or the U.S. wants a major burr under our saddle in terms of relationships between our countries, and this would be that, if the Italians pushed it.” If they do, the source adds, there “is not any way” the U.S. will arrest Knox, nor will it have her declared a fugitive.