Italy's high court has faulted prosecutors for their case against American Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend, who were acquitted for the murder of Knox's British roommate, saying the case had "major flaws."
The court Monday issued a formal explanation, as required by law, of its March ruling that acquitted Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, ending a years-long high-profile case.
In the 52-page document, the Court of Cassation said there was no "biological trace" linking the two to the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. It also criticized the quality of the prosecution's case from the beginning, noting that expert testimony indicated there was possible contamination of the evidence.
The court also said the media spotlight on the case hurt the investigation, with the case undergoing "a sudden acceleration."
A lawyer for Knox, Carlo Dalla Vedova, said Monday the explanation from the court showed "the lack of evidence and the uncertainties of the entire reconstruction of the accusation."
Knox and Sollecito each served four years in prison for the murder of Kercher, in a legal saga that saw the two of them convicted, acquitted, convicted again, and finally cleared a final time by the high court. The two have been free since 2011, when the first appeals court overturned their convictions.
Knox has always maintained her innocence in the death of Kercher, whose throat was slit and body stabbed multiple times in 2007 when the two were exchange students in Perugia, Italy.
A third suspect in the case, former drug dealer Rudy Guede, was given a 30-year prison sentence, which was later reduced to 16 years. Prosecutors argued that Knox and Sollecito stabbed Kercher while Guede held her down when a sex game turned violent.