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Joy in Seattle as freed Knox gets ready to return home

AMANDA Knox's acquittal was greeted with jubilation by her supporters in America, where a potential $1m interview awaits her.

Before the verdict was in, news presenters had been reporting that she was "railroaded" by Italian prosecutors and was the victim of a "witch hunt".

As Knox was freed last night, American television networks were engaged in a bidding war, vying for her first interview. One network was said to have a private jet on standby in Italy to fly her home for a heroine's welcome.

In Seattle, there were whoops of delight and friends of Miss Knox embraced each other and cheered as the realisation that she was free dawned on them. Tom Wright, a campaigner, said: "To Amanda we say 'way to go kid'. We look forward to welcoming you home with open arms and open hearts.

"We want to express our sympathy to the family of Meredith Kercher. Let us not forget this is primarily a sad occasion."

Supporters in Seattle had maintained an all-night vigil. They broke down in tears as they watched the decision on a television screen flanked by three framed pictures of Miss Knox, Raffaele Sollecito and Miss Kercher.

Miss Knox is likely to return to her family home in the quiet Seattle suburb of Arbor Heights. Friends said she would try to resume a normal life.

hnews@herald.ie