Knox defense turns to Italy's last-resort court

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Knox defense turns to Italy's last-resort court
Raffaele Sollecito's lawyer Giulia Bongiorno speaks to journalists as she arrives on March 25, 2015 at the Rome's Supreme Court for the reviewing of Sollecito's trial. The court will examine the verdict that found Raffaele Sollecito and his former lover American Amanda Knox guilty of killing British student Meredith Kercher in the Italian university town of Perugia in 2007, in a case that has captivated the world with its sub-texts of drugs, alleged sexual debauchery and police bungling. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Stephanie Kercher (L), sister of Meredith Kercher, and her brother Lyle hold a press conference in a hotel in central Florence on January 31, 2014. A court in Florence on January 30 sentenced US student Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months in prison for the murder of her British housemate in 2007 in the latest dramatic twist in the high-profile case. The court, after 12 hours of deliberations, also found Knox's former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito guilty for killing Meredith Kercher in the university town of Perugia and sentenced him to 25 years. Knox and Sollecito were first convicted of the murder in 2009, then acquitted in 2011 on appeal. An extradition procedure for Knox can only be launched following a definitive ruling from the supreme court, which could take months or years. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - During an exclusive interview with Robin Roberts, Amanda Knox vowed to fight murder conviction, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 1/31/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMANDA KNOX
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ROME (AP) -- Amanda Knox's lawyers have formally asked Italy's court of last resort to review the U.S. student's appeals court conviction for the 2007 stabbing murder of her British roommate.

Defense lawyer Luciano Ghirga told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the paperwork was submitted last week to the Court of Cassation, Italy's highest criminal court.

Knox's lawyers had promised the move after a Florence appeals court in January reinstated a lower court's murder convictions of her and her Italian former boyfriend in the slaying of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, where all three were studying. The defense filed its recourse after studying the appeals court's written rationale, issued in April, for the convictions.

Cassation judges can either uphold the convictions if they find the appeals trial was properly conducted or order yet another appellate trial. Ghirga said the Cassation Court might take up the case late this year or in early 2015.

The January ruling against Knox included a 28-1/2-year prison sentence for her and a 25-year sentence for her ex-boyfriend and co-defendant, Raffaele Sollecito.

Knox, a University of Washington student, has been in the United States since 2011. She left Italy right after an earlier appeals court ruling overturned the initial lower court conviction that had led to her imprisonment in Italy. The American, who turns 27 next month, has vowed the she would never `'willingly" return to Italy to face her fate in court.

She has said she is hopeful Italian courts will "once again recognize" her innocence.

In the 337-page document in which the Florence court laid out its reasons for the convictions, the presiding judge contended Knox herself delivered the fatal knife blow, writing that the American wanted to `'humiliate the victim."

Sollecito has also proclaimed his innocence.

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