Amanda Knox to return to Italy for first time since acquittal

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By Associated Press  with NBC News World News
Image: Amanda Knox speaks to the media outside of her parents home in Seatt
Amanda Knox speaks to the media outside of her parents home in Seattle after she was acquitted of murder by Italy's highest court on March 27, 2015.   -  Copyright  Stephen Brashear

ROME — Amanda Knox is returning to Italy for the first time since she was convicted and imprisoned, but ultimately acquitted, in the murder and sexual assault of her British roommate in the hilltop university town of Perugia.

The American was invited to attend a conference June 14-15 organized in Modena by the Criminal Chamber of the northern city and the Italy Innocence Project, which seeks to help people who have been convicted of crimes they did not commit.

Knox, 31, will be speaking on the role of the media in judicial errors on the last day of the conference.

"The Italy Innocence Project didn't yet exist when I was wrongly convicted in Perugia. I'm honored to accept their invitation to speak to the Italian people at this historic event and return to Italy for the first time," Knox, who is from Seattle, said Tuesday on Twitter.

Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were initially convicted in the slaying of student Meredith Kercher in 2007.

Their convictions were annulled by the country's highest court in 2015 after a yearslong series of flip-flop higher-court decisions. Judges in that final ruling cited flaws in the investigation and said there was a lack of evidence to prove their wrongdoing beyond reasonable doubt, including a lack of "biological traces" connecting them to the crime.

Italy's highest court did, however, confirm a conviction against Knox for falsely accusing a Congolese bar owner in the case.

An Ivorian immigrant is serving a 16-year sentence for the murder.