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Amanda Knox has reportedly told an Italian newspaper that if she is again convicted of murder, she will become a fugitive rather than return to an Italian prison.
A representative for Knox, 26, confirmed the interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica and released a statement to TODAY on Friday clarifying her comments.
“[If convicted] legally I'll be defined a ‘fugitive,’ but I will continue to fight for my innocence,’’ Knox said in the statement. “I will not willingly submit myself to injustice."
The current trial is Knox's third for the alleged murder of British roommate Meredith Kercher while both were students in Perugia, Italy, in 2007. Knox was convicted in 2009 and spent nearly four years in an Italian prison before she and ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted on appeal and released on Oct. 4, 2011. In March of last year, the Italian Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Knox, rejecting the appeals court ruling.
Knox has remained at her home in Seattle during the proceedings in Italy. She has suggested that she will not leave there even if the Italian court finds her guilty again, telling La Repubblica, “In that case, I will become, what do you call it? A fugitive.”
The Italian reporter who conducted the recent interview told TODAY’s Keir Simmons that Knox’s comments about becoming a fugitive may have been lighthearted, but making a joke about becoming a fugitive while closing arguments are being heard in a murder case may have been ill-advised. If Knox is re-convicted, her legal team can appeal to the Italian Supreme Court. It’s not clear whether the U.S. would allow her to be extradited if she is re-convicted.
“I was already imprisoned in Italy as an innocent person, and I can't reconcile the choice to go back with that experience,’’ Knox told Matt Lauer in an interview on TODAY last year.
Knox also indicated in the interview with the Italian newspaper that she would like to visit Kercher’s family, but so far they have made it clear they would not welcome that, still believing Knox was involved in their daughter’s murder.
"I really hope that that isn't the case,'' Knox told Lauer in September. "I really hope that they can come to understand that it's so hard to be logical about this when you've lost someone so close to you and so important to you, but I really hope that with time, with things changing, with an opening, they'll give my innocence a chance, and I'll be able to approach them. I don't want to be forever separated from them because at this point Meredith is a part of my life. I only knew her for a very short amount of time, but she'll always be there, and I want to be able to share that with them."