Jan. 24, 2012— -- Amanda Knox "loves Italy" and would like to go back to Perugia despite having spent four years in a prison there before a murder conviction was overturned last year, her lawyer said today.
The lawyer also said Knox, 24, may go back to Italy this year as a defense witness for her parents who are charged with slandering the Perugia police.
Carlo Dalla Vedova, one of Knox's lawyers, said she "loves Italy and likes Perugia" and that she would like to return to the country "as a tourist, but if necessary she will return to testify in the trials against her parents," Italian wire service Ansa reported.
Dalla Vedova told ABC News, "I hope they will be acquitted.They certainly didn't make any defamatory remarks when they repeated Amanda's statement to the press."
The former couple faces slander charges that could put them in prison for up to three years for an interview they gave to The Sunday Times of London in 2009.
Amanda Knox 'Loves Italy' and May Return as Witness in Parents' Trial
Curt Knox told the paper, "Amanda was abused physically and verbally. She told us she was hit in the back of the head by a police officer with an open hand, at least twice. The police told her, 'If you ask for a lawyer, things will get worse for you' and 'If you don't give us some explanation for what happened, you're going to go to jail for a very long time.' "
Knox's mother, Edda Mellas, told the newspaper that her daughter was informed she would never see her family again.
A preliminary hearing was held today. Knox is expected to be the only witness for the defense.
Judge Giuseppe Noviello rejected the request of defense lawyers to have the trial, which will begin on March 30, moved from Perugia.
Knox was also indicted for slandering police officers when she testified in her defense that the police yelled at her, denied her a lawyer and cuffed her on the back of the head several times during a marathon interrogation. . A hearing on Knox's slander charge is scheduled for July.
Knox spent four years of a 26 year sentence in a Perugia prison on charges she killed her British roommate Meredith Kercher. Her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also convicted. A third person, Rudy Guede, was convicted of taking part in the murder in a separate trial.
Knox and Sollecito were exonerated last year when an appeals court overturned the conviction. Knox nearly collapsed from tension when the verdict was read.
While dismissing the murder case, the Italian court upheld a conviction for slandering her former boss Patrick Lumumba of being involved in the murder. Knox was sentenced to three years imprisonment and was ordered to pay restitution to Lumumba, along with a hefty fine.
Knox has said in court that regretted implicating Lumumba, but said she was confused and scared during her night-long interrogation. Her family has contended that the Italian investigators pressured her into implicating Lumumba
Prosecutors have until Feb. 16 to appeal Knox's acquittal on murder charges and for Knox to appeal her slander conviction against Lumumba .