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Amanda Knox: Court has made 'huge mistake'

From Barbie Nadeau, For CNN
Amanda Knox, pictured during her court appearance on Saturday.
Amanda Knox, pictured during her court appearance on Saturday.
  • Amanda Knox faces a 26-year prison sentence for the death of her roommate
  • Meredith Kercher, 21, was found at the villa they shared with her throat slashed
  • Knox says she and her former boyfriend are innocent
  • "I don't know how to face the time ahead," Knox says

Perugia, Italy (CNN) -- Former American student Amanda Knox gave an emotional plea Saturday while appealing her conviction in the murder of her British roommate in Italy.

Knox spoke for about 15 minutes and broke down in tears. She said that she and her former Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are innocent and unjustly accused.

"I've been condemned for the crime I did not commit," Knox said.

Knox also added that court has made "a huge mistake."

"I don't know how to face the time ahead," she said.

Knox was sentenced last year to 26 years in prison for the killing of Meredith Kercher at the villa they shared in Perugia, the central Italian town where both were students.

Amanda Knox's family speaks out
2009: Knox convicted of murder

Kercher, 21, was found in November 2007, semi-naked with her throat slashed. Knox and Sollecito were both found guilty of the murder.

Sollecito is serving a 25-year sentence.

A third person, Rudy Guede, a drifter originally from the Ivory Coast, was tried separately and is serving a 16-year prison sentence.

Knox's appeal hearing started in November, but lasted only 15 minutes before the judge adjourned it until Saturday because one of the lawyers was not present.

Knox's family said in April that she is innocent and that no forensic evidence puts her at the crime scene.

"Meredith was Amanda's friend," the family said. "They liked each other and spent time together when not in school. Amanda would not hurt Meredith."

The family said the appeal would detail "a lot of conjecture in these motivations, a number of discrepancies as well as a number of inconsistencies and contradictions; as well as conclusions not supported by evidence."

Jurors said they believed Knox played a role in the killing but that the death was not premeditated, according to a report released in April by the judges in the case.