UK & World News
Sollecito Slams Kercher Killer's Release Plan
Raffaele Sollecito has told Sky News it is "absurd" the only man currently behind bars for killing Meredith Kercher will be allowed to leave jail temporarily this year.
Under Italian law, Rudy Guede, the drug dealer sentenced to 16 years in prison after his DNA was found on the British student's semi-naked body, already qualifies for day release from prison.
His lawyer, Walter Biscotti, confirmed he will soon be able to work outside jail.
However, Sollecito, who together with his former girlfriend Amanda Knox were acquitted of murder but had their convictions reinstated last week, said Guede should not have been allowed a fast track trial that called no witnesses and saw him given a reduced sentence.
"This is absurd," he said. "Guede should have been on trial with me.
"How can I convince him to speak when he has done all he can to hide the truth?"
Ms Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was sexually assaulted and murdered in a house in the central Italian city of Perugia in 2007.
Sollecito came under suspicion when Knox blamed the killing on a local barman.
She has since said she regrets her former partner became caught up in the probe.
Sollecito, who has not been in touch with Knox since the verdict, said: "I was trapped in this because of her. There was nothing against me.
"I appreciate the apologies but what I need is for magistrates to accept the facts."
Sollecito was tracked by police to a hotel near the Italian-Austrian border after the latest verdict was handed down.
He was asked to hand over his passport by officers acting on orders from judge Alessandro Nencini, who said he did not want Sollecito leaving the country before the supreme court ruling.
Sollecito said he entered Austria in the hours before the verdict - not to flee, but to plan a celebration on the assumption he would be cleared.
He was travelling with his girlfriend Greta Menegaldo, an Italian air hostess who he met on a flight a year ago.
"My girlfriend wanted me to see villages nearby, where she was taken on holiday as a child by her parents," he said.
Judge Nencini is being investigated by Italy's supervisory board for magistrates, as well as by the Italian justice ministry, over a possible breach of protocol.
In interviews, he suggested Sollecito might have improved his chances at trial by agreeing to answer questions as a witness.
"It was strange, I was always available but they never asked," Sollecito said.
"The judge could have asked me. To me it seemed obvious that they would ask me.
"I was there - and not just to keep the chair warm. I am still available at any moment."
Sollecito, 29, and Knox, 26, must wait until the spring of 2015 to find out if their latest convictions will be upheld by Italy's supreme court.
He has pledged to "fight with all my force" against his 25-year sentence, while Knox, who was sentenced to 28-and-a-half years, has vowed to fight "to the very end".
Guede has already served six years in jail and has had another two struck off for good behaviour.
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