January 22, 2010 / 7:53 PM / 10 years ago

Knox prosecutor convicted of abuse in another case

FLORENCE, Italy (Reuters) - The Italian prosecutor who secured a 26-year murder conviction against American Amanda Knox last year was convicted Friday of abuse of office and illegal telephone tapping in an earlier murder case.

Italian prosecutor Giuliano Mignini speaks with the media as he arrives for a court hearing in the case of murdered British student Meredith Kercher, in Perugia October 28, 2008. REUTERS/Daniele La Monaca

Giuliano Mignini, chief prosecutor in Knox’s trial for the 2007 killing of British student Meredith Kerchner in Perugia, was sentenced to one year and four months in prison for his role in the investigation of the “Monster of Florence” murders.

A police investigator was also found guilty of abuse of office during the investigation into the grizzly serial murders of couples in the Tuscan countryside between 1968 and 1985.

“I cannot see any abuse in my actions,” Mignini, who is appealing the verdict, told reporters after the hearing.

Mignini will be allowed to continue working while the appeals process runs its course, his lawyer said.

The two officials were found guilty of tapping the phones of journalists and police officers.

His conviction is expected to hand ammunition to critics of the Knox trial.

The family of the 22-year-old American, who is appealing her conviction, has strongly criticized the Italian legal system and the prosecution’s methods.

The “Monster of Florence” case involved the serial killings of four pairs of lovers while they were parked in cars in the isolated countryside around Florence.

Two men were convicted of the murders of four people. Another man who was initially convicted of eight murders and then acquitted on a first appeal died before the start of his second appeals trial.

Editing by Jon Hemming

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