ROME (AP) — Amanda Knox’s former Italian boyfriend said Monday 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 in the Italian town where all three were then students.
Raffaele Sollecito, 31, made his first public comments since the judicial saga ended Friday night when Italy’s top criminal court overturned earlier convictions.
“I feel today like someone who was kidnapped, who after seven years and five months has returned to freedom,” Sollecito said, referring the time since Meredith Kercher was found fatally stabbed in her bedroom of the house she shared with Knox and other roommates.
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 ½ years respectively.
“Everyone was pointing a finger at me, like I was a murderer, without a shred of evidence,” he said.
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 prison 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 immediate plans to see Knox. “Our relationship remains that of friendship,” added Sollecito, who now has an Italian girlfriend.
Sollecito’s lawyer, Luca Maori, said Guede is the one “who knows exactly what happened” when Kercher was slain and appealed to him to say what he knows.
Kercher’s family has expressed disappointment and bewilderment over the acquittals.
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