Amanda Knox's parents accused of libel

The innocence of Amanda Knox has been debated here before but this news article from the BBCseems to open a whole new can of worms regarding the Italian legal system.

Any thoughts on this? Will this ever come to trial or is there some higher court that can throw the case out? Could the US be asked to extradite the parents?

Could they be? Sure. I imagine the response would be two words and seven letters long.

Actually Googling it, it looks like the Italian way of saying it is “Vaffanculo”.

Anyway, I thought extradition was for breaking laws.

Of course Italy can ask us to extradite them. We have no obligation to comply since libel & slander are civil, not criminal, matters in the US. Of course this does mean that it’s a really bad idea for either of them to visit their daughter anytime soon.

But it would make it difficult to visit their daughter if Italian prison even allows family visitation…

Pronounced “Berlusconi.”

If this is the current extradition treaty between the U.S. and Italy, then no, the Knoxes are not at risk of being extradited.

Libel is a civil tort in the U.S. and it is not punishable by imprisonment.

Relevant Italian law, courtesy of Wikipedia. It doesn’t matter what the current extradition treaty between the US and Italy says; comity is limited in all extradition treaties based on whether the charge for which extradition is sought is punishable in both states. Which is to say, the Knoxes aren’t going anywhere, though it could make visiting tricky.

I feel stupid. I thought that they were already in Italy. Disregard what I said earlier. :smack:

“Tricky” or impossible?

Unless Amanda Knox’s parents are willing to go to Italy and arrange for bail or another legal method to visit and stay out of custody until the resolution of their libel case, how could they ever visit her again with an outstanding Italian warrant issued for their arrest?

I was once clearing customs (although this was here in the USA, not Italy) when the guy in front of me was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants, even though the airport he flew into (ATL) was 3,000 miles away from the state he was wanted in. (California)

Until they work something out with prosecutors and/or arrange to face the legal music, they will not likely see Amanda again until she is a free woman, unless there is something I am missing…

There probably isn’t a warrant out for their arrest.

Is libel a criminal or civil issue in Italy?

Wikipedia implies that it’s a crime, and further says that it is treated as a crime in most civil law jurisdictions.

Both. But arrest warrants don’t typically work quite the same way in Europe.

If I remember right, Amanda Knox herself was also convicted of libeling the Italian police. Far be it from me to say the Italian authorities are trying to stifle criticism of a laughably bad prosecution, but …the Italian authorities are trying to stifle criticism of a laughably bad prosecution.

They are coming after you next.

“Pleasa stay neara to the window. Where we can asee you.”

I think you might be referring to the additional year that she got on her sentence, as compared to co-defendant Sollecito, for knowingly accusing an innocent man (her former boss) of the crime.

Her own trial on calunnia charges begins in May.

Actually, considering the amount of news this has generated, it seems like a really poor way of “stifling” criticism. If that was their goal, a more prudent course would have been to ignore her parents’ libel.

On what basis do you declare the prosecution to have been “laughably bad”?

That must be what I was thinking of, yes.

Then people would have gone on “libeling” them without fear of punishment.

The dearth of forensic evidence, the fact that the prosecutor originally said the murder was part of a Satanic sex ritual, the poor handling of the evidence, and the fact that she was convicted based in part on the testimony of a guy with a rap sheet who fled the country after the murder and testified against her in exchange for a lighter sentence.

The only ones on trial for defamation are Knox’s parents. As I’m sure you’re aware, there has been no shortage of criticism of Knox’s trial in the news and cyberspace. I fail to see how this selective defamation prosecution could reasonably be presented as a genuine attempt to stifle general criticism.

Dearth of forensic evidence? Satanic sex ritual? You really need to educate yourself about the case if you’re going to be making sweeping statements and mis-characteriztions like that. And your last sentence is flat out wrong. Guede did not testify against either Knox or Sollecito, and his reduced sentence was an automatic outcome of the Italian system as he elected for a fast-track trial, not given in exchange for purported testimony.

Everything that I first saw and read about the case led me to believe that Amanda Knox was indeed actually guilty, if not of the actual murder then at least in helping to cover up the crime scene.

The more I have learned since she was convicted, the less convinced I am of her guilt…

(That dosen’t mean that I think there is no chance she is actually guilty, but there is more than a touch of reasonable doubt about the whole case. She really screwed herself by initially lying to the Italian investigators…)

ETA—I still don’t understand how her parents will ever be able to visit her again, with there being a warrant out for them in Italy.