Italy's justice department said Tuesday it was investigating comments by one of the judges who reinstated the murder conviction for Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.
Florence judge Alessandro Nencini told two newspapers on Saturday that he agreed with the guilty verdict and said it was difficult to reach because of the amount of evidence and media coverage of the case.
Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito criticized the comments, which preempted the publication of the jury's reasoning in about 90 days time. Sollecito's legal team said the comments showed Nencini was biased and that they may form part of their appeal. Knox's lawyer said in an email to The Associated Press that comments were "not appropriate."
Italy's Justice Ministry said in a statement on Monday that Justice Minister Annamaria Cancellieri had asked the inspector general to look into the judge's comments to the press.
The AP also cited a report by the Italian news agency ANSA saying members of the magistrates' governing body in Italy will request their own inquiry. According to the report, the governing body said Nencini had violated several legal codes of practice and that his comments suggested "partiality."
Nencini was part of the legal panel that on Thursday sentenced Knox to 28 years and six months and Italian Sollecito to 25 years for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in 2007.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.