Amanda Knox visits Italy for first time since being released from prison in 2011
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Amanda Knox on Thursday returned to Italy for the first time since being released from prison following her 2011 acquittal from charges of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher.

Knox, 31, flew back to the country where she was imprisoned to speak on a panel on wrongful convictions during Saturday’s Criminal Justice Festival in the Italian town of Modena, The Associated Press reported.

She arrived at Milan’s Linate airport and was escorted by plainclothes officers, according to the news agency.

She wrote on Twitter that she had chosen not to do interviews and penned an op-ed on Medium about what it was like to return to the country she fled via “a high-speed chase, paparazzi literally ramming the back of my stepdad’s rental car.”

 
 
 
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Guido Sola, one of the festival’s organizers, told CNN that Knox is the “icon” of victims put on trial in the media before courtroom proceedings begin.

"Amanda has been definitively acquitted in court, but in the popular imagination she is still guilty, because she has been the victim of a barbaric media trial,” Sola said.

Knox was an American exchange student studying abroad in the town of Perugia in 2007 when she was arrested for the murder 21-year-old Kercher.

The student and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in 2009 following a high-profile trial that captivated international headlines. 

Another man, Rudy Guede, was also arrested and convicted in a separate case. He remains in prison serving a 16 year sentence, but Italian prosecutors insisted on the couple’s involvement.

Knox and Sollecito had their murder convictions overturned by an appeals court in 2011 before being  definitively acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015, the AP noted.

Europe’s human rights court in January ordered Italy to pay Knox financial damages for failing to provide her with adequate legal and translation assistance during early police questioning.

She has since published a book about her trial and currently hosts several true crime shows.