UK & World News
Sollecito Distances Himself From Knox
Amanda Knox's ex-boyfriend has sought to distance himself from the American woman ahead of their appeals trial, saying he is not her "guarantor".
Raffaele Sollecito stressed during a press conference in Rome that he believes Knox is innocent in the 2007 murder of English student Meredith Kercher in Perugia.
But he said that any "anomalies" would have to do with Knox's defence, not his.
"My name is Raffaele Sollecito, not Amanda Marie Knox, and I must answer as someone whose name is Raffaele Sollecito," he said.
Sollecito and Knox have been convicted by an appeals court in the murder. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, she received a 28 year and six month term.
The two, who were having a relationship at the time of the murder, have always denied wrongdoing.
An appeal trial before Italy's highest criminal court, the Court of Cassation, awaits them.
Knox has maintained she spent the night of November 1, 2007, when Kercher was murdered, at Sollecito's house.
But the Italian said today that he can only vouch for the late evening.
He did not confirm that the two were together in the first part of the evening, around 8.30pm or 9pm, which is roughly the time they believe Ms Kercher was killed.
Sollecito also said Knox had been caught in a lie: the American said she had sent a text message from Sollecito's house the night of the murder but the judges who convicted the pair said her phone's signal showed she was not at Sollecito's house.
"I am not Amanda Knox's guarantor and I can only take my stand on the basis of my experience, of what I have lived," he said, flanked by his lawyers.
The press conference had been called to lay out Sollecito's defence strategy ahead of the Cassation appeal, expected in months.
He insisted the comments did not amount to a change in his defence strategy and reiterated his belief Knox is innocent.
He said at the time of the murder he was in love with Knox - whom he had started dated a short time before - but also added she remained a "stranger".
Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old from Coulsdon, Surrey, was found with her throat slashed in her bedroom at the house she shared with Knox.
The wounds on Ms Kercher's body indicate she was killed by more than one person, experts said at the time.
Rudy Hermann Guede, an Ivorian, has been convicted of the murder and is serving a 16-year sentence.
Knox is back in Seattle and has no plan to come back to Italy for the appeal trial.