30 Mar 2015

Raffaele Sollecito: life after Kercher murder acquittal

Italian Raffaele Sollecito says being acquitted of the murder of UK student Meredith Kercher feels like “being born again”.

The decision by the supreme court of cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Miss Knox and Mr Sollecito.

Both Ms Knox, who awaited the verdict in her US hometown of Seattle, and Mr Sollecito have long maintained their innocence.

Speaking at a press conference in Italy on Monday, Mr Sollecito said: “Today I feel like a sequestered person, who after seven years and five months was set free.

Read more: Meredith Kercher murder acquittals timeline

“But my isolation was unbearable. Not only I have been in jail for four years, but I have also been held up as a murderer and without any proof. I don’t think anyone could imagine what it feels like, what it means to see your life and your family broken up into pieces for nothing.

“The most beautiful moment was the one that put the word ‘end’ on this nightmare, that is when I got the call from my sister, who is here today, after the reading of the acquittal by the highest court. For me it was like a rebirth, the beginning of a new life, or better coming back to the one that I hope will be my life from now on.”

‘Simple story of affection’

The supreme court of cassation overturned last year’s convictions by an appeal court in Florence, and declined to order another trial.

The decision means the judges, after thoroughly examining the case, have concluded that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence. Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.

Speaking about Ms Knox, Mr Sollecito added: “I read, both in the verdicts and in some articles, about something foolish and untrue about my relationship with Amanda.

“My relationship with Amanda, I repeat for the last time, was a simple story of affection between two young people, who couldn’t know anything about a story as absurd as this. I wish Amanda well.”