Raffaele Sollecito first comments after homicide exoneration: I feel today like someone who was kidnapped

Former Italian beau of Amanda Knox said Monday he needs to recuperate wounds inside his soul and heart, now that he and the American have been authoritatively absolved of her British roommate’s 2007 homicide in the Italian town where each of the three were then students.

Raffaele Sollecito, 31, made his first open remarks following the legal saga concluded Friday night when Italy’s top criminal court overruled the two defendants’ convictions in 2014.

“I feel today like someone who was kidnapped, who after seven years and five months has returned to freedom,” said Sollecito, pertaining to the time since Meredith Kercher was discovered brutally stabbed in her room of the Perugia house she shared with Knox and different flat mates.

Sollecito and Knox both spent four years in prison, including after being indicted early in the case. The later 2014 sentence by a Florence appeals court brought sentences of 25 years and 28 and a half years.

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

The Florence court had decided that Knox and Sollecito had acted together with Rudy Guede from the Ivory Coast, who was indicted of Kercher’s killing and rape in a different trial and is serving a 16-year jail sentence.

Sollecito said he talked with Knox by telephone when they were celebrating with their particular families — his in southeastern Italy and hers in Seattle. The two “exchanged many good wishes for a new future,” according to Sollecito.

Until Friday’s decision, life was a “kind of limbo,” Sollecito said. “So for me, the wounds inside my soul, inside my heart … it’s very hard to erase them.” He said he needed “time to heal,” and “time to really breathe this fresh air.”

He said he had no prompt arrangements to see Knox. “Our relationship remains that of friendship,” added Sollecito, who now has been dating an Italian woman.

Sollecito’s legal advisor, Luca Maori, said Guede is the one “who knows precisely what happened” and plead him to say what he knows in regards to the killing.

Kercher’s family has shown dissatisfaction and bewilderment over the exonerations.

“I am very sorry that Meredith’s family was disappointed and saddened by this verdict. This verdict represents the judicial truth, which this time coincides with truth in fact,” Sollecito said. “I have nothing to do with this murder.”

Legal counselor Giulia Bongiorno said the maximum compensation under Italian law for wrongful detainment is 500,000 euros (about $550,000). She said that as of now there were no arrangements to bring any claims against the prosecutors in the two trials which delivered convictions.

“There are no feelings of revenge in Raffaele Sollecito’s heart,” she added.





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