Italy’s highest court overturned the 2011 acquittal of Amanda Knox on Tuesday, ordering a new trial in the sensational murder case that began in 2007.
The ruling means that the case against Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, will be sent back to be reheard at an appeals court in Florence.
The two were convicted of killing Meredith Kercher of Britain in 2007, but fought the charges tooth and nail until winning their release in 2011.
With the decision by the court this week, however, it appears the case is far from over, even as the full implications of the ruling were unclear.
It is not known if Amanda Knox would return voluntarily from the United States or be extradited by Italy, a process that would require major legal steps.
If she does not appear, the case could proceed in her absence.
Knox and Rafalle Sollecito were initially convicted in a trial that divided public opinion. About 18 months ago, an appeals court in Perugia acquitted them.
Monday, prosecutors and defense lawyers basically re-tried the case, meticulously reconstructing the gruesome details of the crime … again.
Kercher, 21, an exchange student at the University of Perugia, was killed in her bedroom. Her half-naked body was found under a duvet, her throat slit.
Knox, then 20, and Sollecito, then 24, were arrested a few days later and ultimately convicted of murder in December 2009 in a lower court in Perugia.
Both were sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime; Knox received an extra year for calumny after she falsely accused another man of murder.
When the convictions were overturned on appeal, the two were released 2011.
But in 2012, prosecutors and lawyers for the Kercher family filed an appeal against those acquittals with the Court of Cassation, whose rulings are final.
Knox’s lawyers appealed the calumny charge.
A third man, Rudy Guede, an Ivorian residing in Perugia, was tried separately and sentenced to 16 years. The Court of Cassation upheld his conviction.
Media appetite for the case was unquenchable as it wound its way through the Italy court system, in part because of the particulars laid out during the trial.
Prosecutors initially conjectured that the murder was the result of a satanic sex frenzy gone wrong, or that Knox and Sollecito were under the influence.