Italy’s Court of Cassation has criticized “glaring errors” in the investigation into the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
The highest appeals court acquitted Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito of the murder in March.
The court said there was an “absolute lack of biological traces” of either defendant in the room where Meredith Kercher was killed or on her body.
Meredith Kercher, 21, was stabbed to death in a Perugia flat she shared with Amanda Knox.
The Court of Cassation published its reasoning on September 7, as it is required to do under Italian law.
It issued a damning assessment of the quality of the prosecution case, saying its high profile nature had an effect on investigators.
“The international spotlight on the case in fact resulted in the investigation undergoing a sudden acceleration,” the court said.
Several mistakes in the investigation were outlined by the court in its reasoning, including the fact that investigators burned Amanda Knox’s and Meredith Kercher’s computers, which could have yielded new information.
The court also wrote that the Florence appeals court which convicted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito last year ignored expert testimony that “clearly demonstrated possible contamination” of evidence and misinterpreted findings about the knife allegedly used to slit Meredith Kercher’s throat, in what prosecutors had described as a s**ual assault, AP reports.
“The kitchen knife, found in Sollecito’s house and the supposed crime weapon, was kept in an ordinary cardboard box,” the judges noted, adding that no traces of blood were found on it.
The judges said that one of Meredith Kercher’s bra clasps, which prosecutors argued carried a trace of Raffaele Sollecito’s DNA, was left on the floor of the murder scene for 46 days, and then “was passed from hand to hand of the workers, who, furthermore, were wearing dirty latex gloves”.
Another man, Rudy Hermann Guede, born in Ivory Coast, was convicted of murder in a separate trial and is serving a 16-year sentence.
The court’s ruling against Rudy Hermann Guede stated that he did not act alone, but the acquittals of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito mean that no-one now stands convicted of acting with Guede to kill Meredith Kercher.
Amanda Knox has announced she will work on behalf of the wrongly convicted after being cleared of Meredith Kercher’s murder in Italy.
In a letter published by The Seattle Times on April 3, Amanda Knox writes that the kindness of friends, family and strangers has sustained her in the seven-plus years since she was arrested in Meredith Kercher’s death of in Perugia.
She says she knows she must give back.
Amanda Knox also says she is lucky she had the backing of lawyers, DNA experts and former FBI investigators who saw the injustice in her case. She says countless other wrongfully convicted people lack that support, and she wants to work to give them a voice.
Italy’s highest court exonerated Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito on March 27.
Amanda Knox’s ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito has said being acquitted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher by Italy’s highest court was like “being born again”.
Speaking for the first time since a final ruling exonerated him and Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito said he had been “branded a killer”.
Meredith Kercher, 21, was stabbed to death in 2008 in the Perugia flat she shared with Seattle native Amanda Knox.
Raffaele Sollecito spent four years in prison in Italy after being convicted in 2009.
He was freed along with Amanda Knox in 2011 after the convictions were overturned and Knox returned to the US. Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were found guilty again by another court in 2014.
Italy’s Court of Appeal ruling on March 27 will be the last in the case and so brings to a close a seven-and-a-half-year ordeal for Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.
Speaking at a news conference in Rome, Raffaele Sollecito described the years since his arrest as a “dreadful kind of pain without an end”.
“It is time I will never be able to recoup. My mind and my soul will be marked for life, and the wound will never stop bleeding, it will never heal.”
He said he was informed of the decision over the phone late on Friday night, by his sister.
“The most beautiful moment without a doubt was the one that put an end to the nightmare, the call from my sister after the reading of the sentence and the total acquittal from the High Court,” Raffaele Sollecito said.
He added that his relationship with Amanda Knox had been distorted by the press, describing it as “simply affection between two young adolescents”.
“Neither of us could have envisaged this absurd and never-ending story.”
Both Rafafele Sollecito and Amanda Knox always denied being involved in the crime, with the American claiming that an early confession was obtained under duress.
Asked about the victim, Raffaele Sollecito said he “hardly knew” Meredith Kercher.
“I am very sorry that Meredith’s family is disappointed about this verdict. The verdict reflects the truth. It reflects what really happened. I have nothing to do with this crime. I hardly knew Meredith. I just said hello to her a few times and I had no reason to hate her or to be a part of this heinous crime.”
Arline Kercher, Meredith’s mother, said she was “shocked” by the decision.
Amanda Knox said she was “full of joy” after being acquitted.
The reasoning behind the acquittal will be made public in 90 days.
Rudy Guede, from the Ivory Coast, was convicted of Meredith Kercher’s murder in 2008 and is serving a 16-year prison sentence in Italy.
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s former Italian boyfriend, said Tuesday that she provided alibis for him that he will use to try to persuade Italy’s court of last resort to dismiss his conviction for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher.
Raffaele Sollecito hopes the Court of Cassation will rule he deserves yet another trial and throw out the 25-year sentence he received in January from a Florence appeals court, which convicted both him and Amanda Knox for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, 21.
His lawyers will stress apparent contradictions in the Florence court’s 337-page verdict explanation.
That court signaled it believed a memo Amanda Knox wrote, while being held for questioning, in which she indicates Raffaele Sollecito had no role in the murder.
“She herself lets me off the hook and gives me an alibi,” Raffaele Sollecito, 30, said.
Amanda Knox wrote a memo while being held for questioning in which she indicates Raffaele Sollecito had no role in Meredith Kercher’s murder (photo Reuters/NBC)
He noted the court accepted findings that an Amanda Knox text message, shortly before the murder, to the owner of a Perugia pub where she worked, had been sent while outside Raffaele Sollecito’s house.
Yet he insisted he wasn’t trying to pin the murder on Amanda Knox.
Flanked by his lawyers in Rome, Raffaele Sollecito stressed what he described as his steadfast belief in the innocence of Amanda Knox, whom he had been dating for barely a week when Meredith Kercher was slain in Perugia, Italy.
“I want to make clear that I and all the people around me, including my family, have always believed, and we still believe today, in the innocence of Amanda Marie Knox.”
The Florence court sentenced Amanda Knox to 28 ½ years in prison.
Amanda Knox, 26, who has repeatedly proclaimed her innocence, has been in America since an earlier court ruling, in 2011, acquitted both her and Raffaele Sollecito.
Amanda Knox was the focus of intense media scrutiny from the start of the highly publicized Meredith Kercher’s murder trial in 2009.
Amanda Marie Knox, born on July 9, 1987, was convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy, in 2009. She served four years of a 26-year sentence before the murder conviction was overturned on October 3, 2011.
However, on March 26, 2013, Amanda Knox’s acquittal was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court, sending the case back to the lower court for reconsideration.
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s boyfriend at the time of the murder, was also found guilty of the murder but had his conviction overturned by an appeal.
Amanda Knox, now 26, whose pretty face maintained its carefree smile throughout her trial, was the ideal female suspect for an Italian murder – “the face of an angel – but the eyes of a killer,”.
From the images of her kissing her co-accused and erstwhile boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, to her cartwheels in the police station, Amanda Knox’s seemingly innocent insouciance contrasted gratingly with the gory crime and general preconceptions of what a murderer should look like.
One lawyer was reported as accusing Knox of being “dirty inside and out” and described her as “half Maria Goretti and half demon”.
The lawyer added: “Who is the real Amanda Knox? Is it the one we see before us here, simple water and soap, the angelic St Maria Goretti?”
“Or is she really a she-devil, a diabolical person focused on sex, drugs and alcohol, living life to the extreme and borderline – is this the Amanda Knox of 1 November 2007?”
Maria Goretti was a teenager made a saint by the Roman Catholic Church after she was murdered during an attempted rape.
As the trial unfolded the two Amanda Knox vied for acceptance: the hapless student championed by her family and defense lawyers; and the manipulative hedonist described by the prosecution.
And despite her plea in court – “I’m afraid of having the mask of a murderer forced on to my skin” – the latter always seemed to gain the upper hand.
Amanda Knox was the focus of intense media scrutiny from the start of the highly publicized Meredith Kercher’s murder trial in 2009
Details soon began emerging of Amanda Knox’s private life – her “Foxy Knoxy” nickname, the drug-taking and claims she slept with several men after she arrived in Italy.
In letters from his jail cell, co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito wrote: “The Amanda I know… lives a carefree life.”
“Her only thought is the pursuit of pleasure,” he wrote to his father.
“But, even the thought that she could be a killer is impossible for me.”
Reporters descended on Amanda Knox’s home city of Seattle in search of more details of her private life.
They discovered that the University of Washington student had been fined in 2007 for her role in a drunken party that police were called to.
A picture began to be painted of a “party girl” who abused drink and drugs and had an active s** life.
Tabloid interest intensified after it emerged that Amanda Knox had written a short story on a social networking site about a man who drugs and rapes a young girl.
In it, one character remarks: “A thing you have to know about chicks is that they don’t know what they want.”
This was not the daughter known to Amanda Knox’s family – who term themselves “typically American”.
They helped fund their daughter’s year in Italy in order to further her Italian, German and creative writing studies.
And apart from the story on the social networking site, Amanda Knox’s page also portrays a very different young woman.
On it, she describes herself as a non-drinker and non-smoker. Her favorite pursuits include yoga and “backpacking long distances with people I know”.
Among her favorite films are Shrek and The Full Monty and she likes listening to The Beatles and reading Harry Potter books.
It was partly a desire to emphasize this aspect of their daughter’s character, and counter what they term her “misrepresentation”, that led Amanda Knox’s supporters in Seattle to set up a tribute website.
On it, family and friends write about the “joiner” who excelled at sports and school plays; a “smart, fun, affectionate and loyal” girl who bought sandwiches for homeless people and nursed sick friends.
They had been optimistic that she would be freed by the Italian courts.
According to alleged leaks of her prison diary, Amanda Knox was similarly determined to maintain her innocence – and may have been preparing to blame her ex-boyfriend.
She reportedly wrote: “I think it is possible Raffaele went to Meredith’s house, raped her, then killed her and then when he got home, while I was sleeping, he pressed my fingerprints on the knife.”
But neither of their cases were helped by CCTV evidence that found its way into the Italian press, reportedly showing Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito buying underwear together two days after Meredith Kercher’s death.
The case was media gold from the start: a pretty young victim, brutally murdered in mysterious circumstances, whose murderers were both wealthy and attractive.
Amanda Knox said on Good Morning America she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her in the 2007 murder of British roommate Meredith Kercher in Italy.
She also vowed to “never go willingly” to face her fate in Italy’s judicial system.
“I’m going to fight this to the very end,” Amanda Knox said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC’s GMA.
Amanda Knox, 26, said she has written a letter to the family of Meredith Kercher expressing sympathy for the legal ordeal that continues more than six years after she was killed.
“I want them to know I understand this is incredibly difficult. They also have been on this never-ending thing. When the case has been messed up so much, a verdict is no longer a consolation for them,” Amanda Knox said during Friday’s interview.
“And just the very fact that they don’t know what happened is horrible,” she said.
Amanda Knox said on Good Morning America she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her
“They deserve respect and the consolation of some kind of acknowledgement,” Amanda Knox said.
“I really wish them the best.”
Meredith Kercher’s sister Stephanie and brother Lyle were in the courtroom in Florence for Thursday’s verdict.
Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, has been prohibited from leaving Italy while the case continues.
“I don’t know what I would do if they imprisoned him. It’s maddening,” Amanda Knox told GMA.
And she is not ready for the possibility she could be extradited to Italy to serve a 28-year prison sentence.
“This really, it hit me like a train. I didn’t expect this to happen. I really expected so much better from the Italian system. They found me innocent before; how could they say beyond a reasonable doubt?” Amanda Knox told GMA.
During the trial, Amanda Knox remained in Seattle, where she is a student at the University of Washington.
The court reinstated a guilty verdict first handed down against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in 2009. The verdict was overturned in 2011, but Italy’s supreme court vacated that decision and sent the case back for the third trial in Florence.
“I just really hope that people try to understand that (when you have) overzealous prosecutors and when you have a biased investigation and coercive interrogation these things happen. And I’m not crazy,” Amanda Knox told GMA.
Members of Meredith Kercher’s family have said they “are still on a journey to the truth” and may never know what happened to her.
It comes after guilty verdicts were reinstated against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for Meredith Kercher murder in 2007.
An Italian court sentenced Amanda Knox to 28 years and six months, and Raffaele Sollecito to 25 years, on Thursday, with their lawyers saying they would appeal.
Amanda Knox, 26, remains in the US and Meredith Kercher’s family called for her to be extradited.
Reports suggest her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffele Sollecito is being held by police after he was found in Udine, near the Slovenian and Austrian borders.
Meredith Kercher, 21, from Coulsdon in south London, was stabbed to death in the flat she shared with Amanda Knox in the college city of Perugia.
Members of Meredith Kercher’s family have said they “are still on a journey to the truth” and may never know what happened to her
Her sister, Stephanie, told a press conference in Florence on Friday: “I think we are still on a journey for the truth and it may be the fact that we don’t ever really know what happened that night, which is obviously something we’ll have to come to terms with.”
She added: “We hope that we are nearer the end so that we can just start to remember Meredith for who she was and draw a line under it, as it were.”
Meredith Kercher’s brother, Lyle, said he believed extradition would be appropriate “if someone has been found guilty and convicted of a murder, and if an extradition law exists between those two countries”.
Amanda Knox has said she will only be extradited to Italy from the US “kicking and screaming”.
In a statement after the case concluded, she said she was “frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict”.
Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer, Luca Maori, said his client had heard the verdict on TV and looked “annihilated”.
He had earlier been at the Florence court, which imposed a travel ban on the 29-year-old and ordered that his passport be revoked.
The court noted that there was a “real and actual the danger that Raffaele Sollecito could escape Italian justice” – but he is free to move in Italy until the verdict is confirmed.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were also ordered to pay damages to Meredith Kercher’s family as part of the ruling.
The Kercher family’s lawyer, Francesco Maresca, called the verdict “justice for Meredith and the family”.
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s Italian ex-boyfriend, has been stopped by police near the Austrian border following the reinstatement of his guilty verdict for the murder of Briton Meredith Kercher in 2007.
Raffaele Sollecito was stopped between Udine and Tarvisio, near the Slovenia and Austria borders, Italy’s Rai News said.
He was given 25 years and American ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox 28 years and six months in Thursday’s ruling.
The Kercher family lawyer said that justice had been done.
Raffaele Sollecito has been stopped by police near the Austrian border following the reinstatement of his guilty verdict for the murder of Meredith Kercher
A travel ban was part of the verdict handed down on Raffaele Sollecito.
He had been in court earlier in the day on Thursday but was not there for the ruling.
Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer, Luca Maori, said his client had heard the verdict on TV and looked “annihilated”.
Lawyers for both Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have said they will appeal to the supreme Court of Cassation.
Amanda Knox said today that she is “frightened and saddened” after being re-convicted in the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher when they were students in Italy in 2007.
A panel of judges and jurors set a sentence of 28 years and six months for Amanda Knox, who returned to the US after an earlier conviction was reversed.
The jury also convicted her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, sentencing him to 25 years in jail and banned him from traveling.
“I am frightened and saddened by this unjust verdict,” Amanda Knox, 26, said in a written statement from her home in Seattle, where she returned after spending four years in prison.
“Having been found innocent before, I expected better from the Italian justice system.”
Now it’s unclear what will happen to Amanda Knox, who is certain to appeal – a process that could take a year or longer. Even if the high court confirms the new conviction, Italy still would have to seek her extradition.
Amanda Knox said today that she is “frightened and saddened” after being re-convicted in the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher
Amanda Knox has vowed not to return.
Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyers said they were stunned by the latest twist in a whiplash-inducing case that has made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic for six years.
“There isn’t a shred of proof,” attorney Luca Maori said.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were arrested after British student Meredith Kercher was found dead in their apartment in the university town of Perugia.
In 2011, an appeals court reheard the case and acquitted Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito after independent experts said crucial DNA evidence had been contaminated by police.
But in March, Italy’s highest court dismissed that acquittal – slamming the lower court for “contradictions and inconsistencies” in its decision – and ordered a new trial.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito say that only one person is responsible for Kercher’s death: small-time drug dealer Rudy Hermann Guede. The Ivory Coast-born man is serving 16 years in jail, but a court found that he did not commit the crime alone.
Amanda Knox is prepared to become “a fugitive” from justice if an Italian court upholds her original conviction for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
One of the last hearings in Amanda Knox’s retrial was held Thursday in Florence.
Amanda Knox, 26, confirmed from her home town of Seattle, where she is studying at Washington University, that she would fight any extradition request from Italy if the appeals court in Florence finds her guilty of the murder and assault of Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007.
Italy could apply for her to be extradited but her lawyers in the US are expected to resist that on the basis of double jeopardy – the principle that a defendant cannot be tried twice for the same crime.
Amanda Knox is prepared to become “a fugitive” from justice if an Italian court upholds her original conviction
The appeals court is expected to hand down its verdict on Jan. 30 after hearing the case since September.
Asked what she would do if the court overturned her 2011 acquittal for the murder of the Leeds University student, Amanda Knox said: “In that case I will be … how does one say … a fugitive.”
Amanda Knox told Italian newspaper La Repubblica that she remained optimistic the court would find her and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, not guilty.
Prosecutors have asked for Amanda Knox to be sent to jail for 30 years – four years more than her original conviction in 2009.
Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted and later cleared of killing British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia in 2007, has appeared in court in Florence, Italy.
The Italian is due to make a statement over the death of Amanda Knox’s room-mate Meredith Kercher.
Raffaele Sollecito and his then-girlfriend, Amanda Knox, were convicted in 2009 of murder but acquitted on appeal in 2011.
However, in March Italy’s highest court overturned the acquittals, and ordered a new appeal.
Amanda Knox is now in the US and is not expected to attend court.
“He has come to show that he is not running away,” Raffaele Sollecito’s lawyer, Luca Maori, told reporters before the start of the hearing.
The new appeal was ordered after the prosecution took the case to the Supreme Court.
Raffaele Sollecito is due to make a statement over the death of Amanda Knox’s room-mate Meredith Kercher
The court strongly criticized the way the appeals court had dismissed important DNA evidence, ordering the whole process to begin all over again.
One of the key pieces of forensic evidence that helped to convict the pair in the first place was a kitchen knife found in Raffaele Sollecito’s kitchen, which was said to have Meredith Kercher’s DNA on the blade.
But the DNA sample was tiny, and the appeal judge thought the evidence was unreliable, so he rejected a forensic scientist’s suggestion to have it tested again.
Tuesday’s hearing will focus on a minute trace of DNA found on the murder weapon but not previously tested.
Meredith Kerceher’s family was not in court. But their lawyer, Francesco Maresca, said the evidence was clear for all to see.
“I think that this court has all the elements to take its decision. Another court has determined why that knife was in Knox’s hands,” said Francesco Maresca.
Both Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox spent four years in prison before their acquittal, and have always insisted they are innocent.
Another man – Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast – was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 16 years for the killing.
Amanda Knox has revealed she will not attend a retrial in Italy because she will forever be seen as “the dark lady who decided Meredith had to die”.
Amanda Knox, 26, claims her presence animates the courtroom, detracting from the evidence.
It follows claims by her co-accused and former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito that Italian police tried to bribe him into framing her.
Since overturning a 26-year jail sentence, Amanda Knox has denied any involvement in the 2007 murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher, who was found with her throat slashed in their shared flat in Perugia.
Now living in Seattle, she refuses to answer calls to revisit the evidence at a court Florence.
Amanda Knox told the New York Post nobody in the Perugia court cared about what really happened to Meredith Kercher.
Amanda Knox has revealed she will not attend a retrial in Italy because she will forever be seen as the dark lady who decided Meredith had to die
Branding the court room a “circus”, Amanda Knox claims everybody was more concerned about what she was wearing, how she did her hair or whether she smiled at her parents than the legal proceedings.
In an interview with the Sun on Sunday, Amanda Knox said: “The fact is that my presence has always been a distraction in the courtroom.
“Every single movement I made, every gesture, every facial expression, was the focus of scrutiny and distracted from the evidence in the case.”
Amanda Knox told the paper she had been portrayed during the first trial as “the dark lady…who decided Meredith was better than me and had to die”.
“Projecting that image justifies in their minds that I would be capable of committing a crime so heinous as this and therefore validates the guilty verdict in the first trial,” she said.
But, she added, finance was also a problem: “If it were possible to go to the court and not have to deal with the issues of being afraid of being thrown back in prison again for an arbitrary reason, or for being able to financially afford it, absolutely I would want to be there.”
Italy’s highest criminal court, the Court of Cassation, ruled in March that an appeal court in Florence must re-hear the case against Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito for the murder of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.
Raffaele Sollecito is due to face a retrial on September 30. But Amanda Knox’s lawyer revealed last month that she will not return to Italy for the new trial.
They were found guilty in December 2009 of murdering Meredith Kercher, with Amanda Knox sentenced to 26 years in prison and Raffaele Sollecito 25.
But, after an 11-month appeal in a Perugia court, both convictions were thrown out in October 2011.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have consistently protested their innocence and claim they were not even in the apartment on the night Meredith Kercher died.
Raffaele Sollecito has claimed Italian police tried to bribe him into framing ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher – and revealed his fears “out of control” Knox would do the same to him.
Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend says “sneaky” officers instigated a string of approaches from a prison guard, other inmates and even his family as he and his American lover were awaiting trial for 21-year-old Meredith Kercher’s murder in Perugia, Italy.
Raffaele Sollecito, 29, said he refused to point the finger of blame at Amanda Knox to save his own skin because he was “really fond of her”.
Yet he admits he was terrified Amanda Knox, who he had been dating for just a week before the 2007 killing, would do a deal to stitch him up because she was “out of control”.
Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox, 26, were convicted of Meredith Kercher’s murder in 2009 then cleared on appeal two years later.
But Italy’s highest court later threw out the acquittals and the pair faces a new trial, beginning later this month.
Raffaele Sollecito claimed detectives told him he would be released immediately if he distanced himself from Amanda Knox, saying he should pretend he couldn’t remember anything or that he was sleeping in order for the prosecution to catch her.
He told the Daily Mirror: “They did not persuade me. It was the most sneaky situation. I couldn’t invent anything.”
But he still “feared Amanda” and added: “I knew her for a short time, a week, and in reality I did not really know this woman. I was scared because she was out of control at the police station. She had been making crazy statements and everything was just wrong.
“I thought she could make a deal to blame me. I was scared of that.”
Amanda Knox was jailed for 26 years and Raffaele Sollecito for 25 following the trial in 2009.
Raffaele Sollecito said the first “deal” was when he was in solitary confinement and came about when he his father tried to speak to the prosecution and was told to pass on the message his son should keep his distance from Amanda Knox.
Other family members urged Raffaele Sollecito to take the deal and free himself, but he refused to be persuaded and wrote a letter to his nearest and dearest vowing to stand by Amanda Knox.
Raffaele Sollecito claimed police then began trying to get him to turn against Amanda Knox and that, unless he distanced himself from the American, he would spend the rest of his life in prison.
The Italian claims this message was passed to his family in no uncertain terms.
Raffaele Sollecito has claimed Italian police tried to bribe him into framing Amanda Knox for the murder of Meredith Kercher
His father was allegedly approached by a Perugia lawyer offering a similar deal.
Meredith Kercher’s grieving family, from Coulsdon, Surrey, were devastated when Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were freed on appeal but vowed to keep Meredith’s memory alive.
They have kept out of the public eye and refused to read the books that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito wrote about their “ordeal”.
But in March the family welcomed news of the retrial and hoped they would finally get answers.
No murder weapon was ever found, DNA tests were faulty and prosecutors provided no motive for murder.
In a series of confused interviews after their arrest Amanda Knox initially claimed to have witnessed the murder and named a local bar owner as the killer.
She later withdrew the statement, insisting it had been made under duress, and said she had been at Raffaele Sollecito’s student apartment throughout the night – which he confirmed.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito met at a classical music concert and became lovers within hours. Meredith Kercher was murdered just a week later.
Raffaele Sollecito said the pair “were like teenagers in a fantasy romance” but then became friends bonded by the tragedy.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were photographed being reunited in New York earlier this year – but he insists there is no romance.
Raffaele Sollecito is often asked if he wished he had never met Amanda Knox. He said: “No, I don’t think like that. I don’t blame her, it is not her fault this nightmare. It is others.”
And he claimed his own life is “in limbo”, and that he is without a home. He fears he is a target in Italy for those who still believe he and Amanda Knox were involved and worries police will try to seek revenge by planting drugs in his car.
He has tried to settle in Lugano, Switzerland, and set up a computer software firm – but was kicked out by the Swiss authorities because he failed to disclose details of the murder charges.
Raffaele Sollecito then went to stay with relatives in the US and even got marriage proposals from female murder trial “groupies”.
He has now moved to a secret location in the Caribbean, where he is currently trying to establish a business.
Amanda Knox’s lawyers have insisted she will not be at the retrial in Florence and Raffaele Sollecito said he will wait until after the first of eight scheduled hearings to see “which way the court is going”.
Raffaele Sollecito feels victimized and slammed the police handling of the case, saying everything about the investigation was handled “wrong” and that officers were “incompetent” and “fools”.
Despite his own grievances, Raffaele Sollecito insists he hasn’t forgotten the pain of Meredith Kercher’s family, saying he “can’t imagine their suffering”.
But he urged them to read the case documents and ask questions about what really happened instead of sticking by the “theory” of what happened.
“If you accept only the prosecution case you will never find what is right and what really happened,” he added.
New reports claim that Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for a retrial in the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher.
Meanwhile, David Marriott, a spokesman for the Knox family, told CNN that Amanda Knox, 26, had never agreed to attend the re-trial and that there is “no requirement she be there”.
However, Amanda Knox could still be forced to return to Italy if the country requires her extradition from the United States, the network reported.
In an interview in May, Amanda Knox expressed her fear and uncertainty about returning to the country where she was held in prison for several years for the murder of her roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.
“I’m afraid to go back there,” she told CNN.
“I don’t want to go back to prison.”
Amanda Knox was convicted of the November 2007 murder of the British exchange student, whose body was found in the villa they shared in Perugia, in central Italy.
Her then-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, was also found guilty of the killing. He received 25 years behind bars, while she was given 26 years.
Amanda Knox will not return to Italy for a retrial in the murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher
But the convictions were turned over in 2011 due to “lack of evidence”. The appellate court noted that the murder weapon was never found, said that DNA tests were faulty and that prosecutors provided no murder motive.
Their convictions had come despite a drifter from the Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, being found guilty of the assault and murder. He is currently serving a 30-year sentence.
After she was acquitted, Amanda Knox returned home to Seattle, Washington, where she remains.
But last year, Italy’s Supreme Court said the ruling was full of “deficiencies, contradictions and illogical” conclusions and ordered the new appeals court to look at all the evidence.
The new court must conduct a full examination of evidence to resolve the ambiguities, the high court judges said.
They said the new appeal process would serve to “not only demonstrate the presence of the two suspects in the place of the crime, but to possibly outline the subjective position of Guede’s accomplices”.
It said hypotheses ran from a simple case of forced intimate relationship involving Meredith Kercher “to a group e**tic game that blew up and got out of control”.
Amanda Knox has said that such claims were “a bombardment of falsehood and fantasy”.
No date for the new trial has been set. Florence’s appeals court was chosen since Perugia only has one appellate court.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito have both denied wrongdoing and said they weren’t even in the apartment that night, although they acknowledged they had smoked marijuana and their memories were clouded.
Earlier this year, Amanda Knox said the future was very unsure for her financially and that she is almost broke because of her huge legal bills – despite a $1.5 million book advance.
She will be paid a reported $ 4million in total for her memoir Waiting To Be Heard but claimed that her retrial and a potential libel lawsuits will leave her penniless.
Amanda Knox also revealed that to make money in the future she will be writing more books and will be taking a creative writing course at the University of Washington, near her home in Seattle.
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s Italian ex-boyfriend, has told of their “intense” relationship claiming he felt he had been “hit by a thunderbolt” when they first met.
Speaking to reporters in New York, where he and Amanda Knox were reunited earlier this week, Raffaele Sollecito said he was horrified by the Italian Court’s decision to reopen the case into the murder of British student Meredith Kercher.
Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were found guilty of murdering 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in 2009 and were jailed for 25 and 26 years respectively.
They were freed on appeal in 2011, but Italian judges have now ordered them to return to court for retrial.
Raffaele Sollecito told The Sun: “Meeting Amanda was like being hit by a thunderbolt. Our relationship got very intense, very quickly.”
He said he felt great sorrow over the death of Meredith Kercher and added that he would one day like to visit her grave in Mitcham, Surrey.
Raffaele Sollecito said: “I will never forget Meredith. It was terrible what happened. But I am not responsible for her death.
“It makes me sad when her family say they still believe other people were involved. Rudy Guede is in prison for her murder and his DNA was all over the scene.”
He described the reopening of the trial as like a “horror movie where they keep making sequels”, and continues to deny having anything to do with Meredith Kercher’s death.
The court ruled that Meredith Kercher’s death was a “s** game gone wrong” and have ordered Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox back for trial.
This has resulted in Raffaele Sollecito launching a desperate $500,000 online appeal for donations to fund his retrial.
The computer studies graduate said he was hard up and needed the cash for “legal expenses” but added he would donate anything raised above the target “to a research foundation”.
In an appeal posted on his Facebook page, Raffaele Sollecito wrote: “Well Guys, the problem for me now is pretty though.
Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s Italian ex-boyfriend, has told of their “intense” relationship claiming he felt he had been “hit by a thunderbolt” when they first met
“I’m deeply concerned not just for the issue I’m facing and most of you already know about, but also because I don’t have resources anymore to fight this injustice.
“I badly need to be able to hire experts, when needed, or pay my attorney fees, documents fees, and so on when the new appeal will start.
“I hope to not bother you, but I need your collaboration to face this ordeal. Otherwise I don’t want to forced to give up just for financial reason.
“I hope you will understand. I’m just asking if you, buddies, know how to build up a non-profit raising funds foundation. Big Hugs, Raffaele Sollecito.”
Raffaele Sollecito is thought to have been paid $1million for U.S. TV news interviews and an advance on his book Honor Bound: My Journey to Hell and Back with Amanda Knox, which was published last year.
However, a sizeable proportion of that was swallowed up in legal fees to his team of lawyers including Italy’s high flying Giulia Bongiorno who is said to have the highest fees in the country.
On Tuesday, the High Court issued its written reasoning for doing so. Meredith Kercher’s body was found in November 2007 in her bedroom of the house she shared with Amanda Knox in Perugia, a central Italian town popular with foreign exchange students.
Amanda Knox, now 25, and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, 29, were initially convicted and sentenced to long prison terms, but a Perugia appeals court acquitted them in 2011, criticizing virtually the entire case mounted by prosecutors.
The appellate court noted that the murder weapon was never found, said that DNA tests were faulty and that prosecutors provided no murder motive.
A young man from Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, was convicted in a separate proceeding and is serving a 16-year sentence.
In the 74-page Cassation ruling, the High Court judges said they “had to recognize that he [Rudy Guede] was not the sole author” of the crime, Italian news agency LaPresse reported. The judges though said he was the “main protagonist”.
They said the new appeal process would serve to “not only demonstrate the presence of the two suspects in the place of the crime, but to possibly outline the subjective position of Rudy Guede’s accomplices”.
The high court faulted the Perugia appeals court for “multiple instances of deficiencies, contradictions and illogical” conclusions.
The new court must conduct a full examination of evidence to resolve the ambiguities, it said.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito denied wrongdoing and said they weren’t even in the apartment that night, although they acknowledged they had smoked marijuana and their memories were clouded.
Raffaele Sollecito was given a 25-year jail term while Amanda Knox was given 26 years but in 2011 the verdicts were overturned and they were released on appeal.
However, three months ago Italy’s highest court ruled there should be a fresh trial for both of them.
Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were caught hugging and kissing during a secret reunion in New York this week.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were pictured strolling in New York City on Tuesday – just hours after Italian judges ordered them to return to court for a retrial for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher
The tryst has already led to concerns that the couple should not be in contact with each other now they have been recalled for a retrial.
As reported by the Daily Mirror, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were pictured hugging closely, with Amanda closing her eyes during the warm embrace as Raffaele kissed her cheek.
Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were caught hugging and kissing during a secret reunion in New York this
The meeting has led to rumors that the pair have become romantically involved again. James Terrano, who is reportedly Amanda Knox’s boyfriend, was nowhere to be seen.
As Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito walked and chatted along the street, Amanda’s mother walked behind. One onlooker told the Daily Mirror that the pair looked like a couple who had been together for some time.
He said: “You only have to look at him to see he still holds a huge torch for Amanda.
“They never once stopped chatting. It’s astonishing they are allowed to even talk to each other, let along see one another, considering they are both suspects in a murder trial.”
Amanda Knox declined to comment on the reunion, with Raffaele Sollecito admitting the pair have much to plan.
Hours before their secret reunion on Tuesday, Italy’s high court faulted the acquittal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito by the appeals court for the murder of Meredith Kercher.
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