An Italian appeal court has cleared Amanda Knox of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher in Perugia four years ago.
The American was convicted in 2009, along with her boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito, of murdering the Leeds University exchange student during a drug-fuelled sex game.
21-year-old Kercher’s body was found with more than 40 stab wounds in the apartment they shared.
A forensic science review dismissed police claims that damning traces of DNA were found on the kitchen knife identified as the murder weapon.
The appeal court quashed Knox’s 26 year jail term and the 25 year sentence Sollecito was serving and ordered they be freed immediately.
A third defendant is still in jail.
Earlier Knox told the court: “I did not do the things they say I did. I did not kill, rape or steal. I was not there,” Knox said in Italian. “I want to go home. I want to go back to my life. I do not want to be punished. I do not want to be deprived of my life for something I did not do, because I am innocent.”
In his own final plea Sollecito offered judges a cream-coloured plastic bracelet inscribed “Free Amanda and Raffaele” that he said he had worn for years.