Amanda Knox acquitted of slander charges against Italian police

ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court acquitted American Amanda Knox of slander charges brought after she said police coerced her to name the person who murdered her British flatmate Meredith Kercher, according to her Italian lawyer.

Knox was initially convicted of the stabbing along with her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. They were both definitively cleared of the charges last year.

However, Knox was convicted of falsely accusing Congolese barman Patrick Lumumba for the 2007 crime, and was sentenced to time served because she had already spent about four years in an Italian jail.

Knox later said she fingered Lumumba for the crime because police "threatened" her and she was under severe mental strain after many hours of interrogation, which prompted the police officers who conducted questioning to sue her for slander.

"Today she was acquitted of the slander charge," lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova told Reuters by phone.

The brutality of the attack on 21-year-old Kercher, alleged sex games and multiple trials provided fodder for tabloids on both sides of the Atlantic and inspired books and films.

It also shone an uncomfortable spotlight on Italy's judicial system.

(Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)