By Wendy Murray
The guilty verdict on the murder charge against Amanda Knox was rendered on Thursday, Jan 30 in Florence. British college student, Meredith Kercher (Knox’s housemate) was brutally raped and murdered in the home they shared on Nov. 1, 2007. Knox and her boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, along with a third party, Rudy Guede, were charged. (Guede is already in prison serving his time.) The case has dragged on for six years as the Italian court system, in its methodical way, inches toward a decisive ruling. (Note: This verdict will still need to be confirmed by the Italian Supreme Court, but this is the most critical phase of the appeal.)
Regardless of the verdict as it relates to the murder, all courts at every phase of this tortured contest have agreed that Knox is guilty of slander, having wrongly accused her then-boss and local cafe owner, Congolese-born, Diya “Patrick” Lumumba, of being the killer. Knox told police she ‘covered her ears as he killed’ Kercher in her bedroom.
As a result of Knox’s false statements Patrick Lumumba was taken from his home, in front of his wife and child, and held in custody for two weeks. He was released when witnesses verified his alibi was airtight.
‘Because of what she said, I was put in jail for two weeks and my bar was impounded by the police for four months,’ Lumumba said.
In 2011 Knox was ordered to pay him 22,000 euros. Knox has not paid this, despite having received a $4-million advance from HarperCollins for her book, which came out in April 2013.
Italian Prosecutor Alessandro Crini, in his closing statements on November 26, 2013, urged the court to increase Knox’s separate sentence for slander from three years to four years since, Crini argued, she lied to “deflect suspicion from herself — which would be an aggravating circumstance.”
If Knox is innocent, as she claims, she would do well to attempt to exonerate her name by doing all she can to compensate for harm caused Lumumba. Not doing so tarnishes her. In either case, guilty or not-guilty, her unpaid debt leaves her, at best, a slanderer who ruined the life of an innocent black immigrant to save herself. On top if it, she is a slanderer who has not paid a court-ordered debt.