Giuliano Mignini, the Italian prosecutor who put Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito behind bars for a killing they have always said they didn’t commit, still isn’t convinced of their innocence despite their overturned convictions.
But “if they are innocent, I hope they’re able to forget the suffering they’ve endured,” Mignini says in a new Netflix documentary, Amanda Knox, which re-examines the case.
“If they’re guilty, if earthly justice didn’t get to them, I hope they own their guilt,” he continues.
“Because I know that life ends with a final trial – a trial with no appeals, no second chances and no revisions.”
Mignini, like Knox and Sollecito, agreed to appear in the Netflix documentary to reflect on a nine-year saga that dominated international headlines. All three “decided it was beneficial for them to tell their side of the story,” co-director Brian McGinn previously told PEOPLE.
Mignini, in particular, “felt like his side of the story was not being heard,” McGinn said.
That was a big change from how he had been received, Mignini says in the documentary, which was released Friday. After Knox and Sollecito were convicted of the vicious stabbing death of Knox’s 21-year-old British roommate Meredith Kercher, in 2007, Mignini became a celebrity in his home country, he says.
Strangers would regularly stop him and shake his hand.
“They would congratulate me,” he says. “It gives me satisfaction.”
“Normally, people say that ‘nobody is a prophet in his own country,’ ” he says. “But that’s not what I experienced.”
Giuliano Mignini in September 2011
Giuseppe Bellini / Getty Images
All of that changed after the case against Knox and Sollecito crumbled, and they were acquitted and again convicted before Italy’s highest appeals court overturned their second conviction in 2015, effectively ending their prosecution. In its ruling, the court cited “stunning flaws” in the investigation and a lack of evidence linking the pair to the crime.
Mignini says he was stupefied. “I have to remind you that her behavior was completely inexplicable,” he says of Knox. “Totally irrational.”
The prosecutor, who likens himself to Sherlock Holmes, was convinced that Knox and Sollecito were responsible for Kercher’s death, and in the documentary he re-argues his side of the case even as the former suspects have been cleared.
He brings up familiar accusations, including that a broken window at the scene was staged; that, because Kercher’s body was covered by a blanket, a woman must have been involved; and that Knox was a sex-crazed psychopath who must have killed Kercher after the young Brit interrupted a sex game between Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede, whose DNA was discovered in Kercher’s bedroom.
“Amanda was a girl that was very uninhibited,” Mignini says in the documentary. “She would bring boys home – and hearing Meredith’s friends, if you could imagine a girl different from Amanda in every imaginable way, it would have been Meredith.”
As Mignini explains in the documentary, in addition to the investigation’s findings, he based his conclusions on his gut.
Despite his steadfast opinions on the Knox’s case, Mignini does reveal in the documentary that “I can say that I’ve made mistakes, even things that I have had to confess” (though he doesn’t elaborate).
“We are all between good and evil,” Mignini says. “It’s in our human nature.”