herald

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Knox ex - We'll remain pals

Sollecito
Sollecito

Amanda Knox's former Italian boyfriend has said that he needs to heal wounds inside his heart and soul, now that he and the American have been definitively acquitted of her British roommate's 2007 murder.

Raffaele Sollecito (31) made his first public comments since the judicial saga ended late last Friday night when Italy's top criminal court overturned earlier convictions.

He also told how he has spoken with Knox since the ruling, and the pair remained friends.

"I feel today like someone who was kidnapped, who after seven years and five months has returned to freedom," Sollecito said, referring to the time since Meredith Kercher was found fatally stabbed in her bedroom of the house she shared with Knox and others.

Sollecito and Knox spent four years in jail, including time served after they were convicted early in the case. Later convictions by a Florence appeals court brought sentences of 25 years and 28-and-a-half years respectively.

"Everyone was pointing a finger at me, like I was a murderer, without a shred of evidence," he said.

phone

The Florence appeals court that convicted Sollecito and Knox most recently ruled that the pair acted in concert with Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast, who was convicted of Kercher's slaying and sexual assault in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year sentence.

Sollecito said he spoke with Knox by phone after they were cleared by the Rome-based court, when they were celebrating with their respective families - his in southeastern Italy and hers in Seattle. Both of them "exchanged many good wishes for a new future", Sollecito said.

When asked, he said he had no plans to see Knox.

"Our relationship remains that of friendship," added Sollecito, who now has an Italian girlfriend.

Meanwhile, Meredith Kercher's family has expressed disappointment and bewilderment over the acquittals.

hnews@herald.ie

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