Folllowing the March 27, 2015 acquittal of Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Rafael Sollecito, by Italy's top court for the 2007 murder of Knox's British housemate Meredith Kercher, the families of Knox and Sollecito have disclosed that they will be seeking just compensation from Italian authorities for the four years the two former lovers spent in prison in Italy.
What exactly is "just" in this case has not yet been disclosed, but payments for long periods spent in prison would normally run into seven figures.
In a surprise verdict capping nearly a decade of courtroom drama, the Court of Cassation in Rome threw out the second guilty verdict against Knox, 27, and Sollecito, 31, for the murder of Kercher, saying there was insufficient evidence to convict either of them. Kercher, 21, was found lying in a pool of her own blood at the house she shared with Knox in the university town of Perugia, north of Rome.
The ruling put an end to the long and arduous legal process that saw the pair being tried and found guilty, then acquitted and freed on appeal, and then tried and found guilty again.
Amid lengthy and frequently botched police investigation, the case prompted endless speculation and lurid innuendoes in the Western media. Some 20 books, numerous television documentaries and a feature film were made on the case.
Police and prosecutors theorized that Kercher was murdered during a sex game involving Knox, Sollecito, and Rudy Guede, an Ivory Coast immigrant who had come to Italy as a small boy but became involved in drug dealing and petty crime.
Guede was found guilty of murder after a quick trial and sentenced to 30 years in jail, reduced to 16 on appeal. He remains behind bars.
"I'm still absorbing the present moment, which is full of joy," Knox told reporters recently. "I'm grateful to have my life back."
She screamed with delight when she first heard the news of her final acquittal at her mother's home in the middle class suburb of Arbor Heights, Seattle.
She was more restrained, however, when she delivered her statement on her reaction to the Italian court verdict, tears falling down her face.
Knox's friends and supporters were less restrained, bringing bottles of champagne to the Knox doorstep, and even dancing in the street. Down the road at Salty's, a seafood restaurant, there were sounds of fireworks and cheers throughout the afternoon as a large crowd of supporters gathered.
Knox spent most of her adult life enmeshed in one of Europe's most intriguing murder mysteries – as the prime suspect in the murder of Kercher.
Sollecito was at his father's home near Bari when he heard the verdict, and he broke down in tears. "Is it really over?" he asked repeatedly.
While Knox and Sollecito and their families and supporters celebrated the verdict, an understandably different mood filled the Kercher family home in Coulsdon, Surrey. Kercher's mother Arline, gave a brief and muted reaction.
"They have been convicted twice so it's a bit odd that it should change now," she said. She indicated that was "surprised and very shocked" at the final ruling.
The question still remains: Was Guede the lone killer of Kercher?