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.
“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.
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