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Knox leaves Italy after murder acquittal

ROME (Reuters) - American student Amanda Knox left Italy for home Tuesday after an appeals court acquitted her of murdering British student Meredith Kercher and freed her from four years in jail.

Knox, from Seattle, was freed by a court in the Umbrian hill town of Perugia Monday night after a sensational appeal trial that gripped public attention on both sides of the Atlantic.

Airport officials said she and her family left Italy for London, where they were due to board a connecting flight to their hometown.

The court also freed Knox's former boyfriend, Italian computer student Raffaele Sollecito. Both were convicted in 2009 of murdering 21-year-old Kercher during what prosecutors said was a drug-fueled sexual assault in the university city.

(Writing by Barry Moody)

This story corrects Kercher to Knox in 2nd and 4th paragraphs.