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Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for murder retrial: report

Amanda Knox (L), the U.S. student convicted of murdering her British flatmate Meredith Kercher in Italy in November 2007, arrives at the cou
Amanda Knox (L), the U.S. student convicted of murdering her British flatmate Meredith Kercher in Italy in November 2007, arrives at the cou

ROME (Reuters) - Amanda Knox, the American student accused of the 2007 murder of her British roommate, will not return to Italy for a retrial due to begin next month, her lawyer told an Italian daily on Saturday.

Knox, 26, spent four years in prison for the murder of Meredith Kercher, whose half-naked body was discovered with more than 40 wounds and a deep gash in the throat in the apartment they shared while studying in Perugia in central Italy.

Following an appeal, Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 and she returned to her Seattle-area home. But Italy's supreme court ordered a retrial in March due to inconsistencies in the appeal court's decision to release them.

Knox's lawyer Luciano Ghirga told Florence daily La Nazione on Saturday that he had recently met Knox in Seattle for a briefing ahead of the retrial, and that she had decided not to return to Italy.

Knox does not have to attend the retrial and can be represented by her lawyers.

Ghirga said that Knox was not trying to run away from anything but that she did not understand why a retrial was necessary.

Knox released a memoir earlier this year in which she maintained her innocence and painted herself as a naive young woman railroaded by a foreign justice system.

Italy's supreme court has said the judges in the appeals case which led to Knox's acquittal overlooked evidence against the accused and wants the theory that Kercher was killed during a group sex game to be re-examined.

At the moment only one person is in jail for the murder, Ivory-Coast born Rudy Guede, who is serving a 16-year sentence.

(Reporting By Catherine Hornby; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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