Raffaele Sollecito blamed ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox for his second conviction for murder in Italy when he appeared recently (Monday) on the Anderson Cooper show on CNN. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years in prison while American Knox was sentenced to 27 1/2 years on prison by Judge Alessandro Nemecini.
Sollecito said he and his new girlfriend were in Austria celebrating what he thought would be a not guilty verdict when he received word the two-judge, six lay juror panel had found him guilty. He said he immediately returned to his native land where he was detained briefly by Italian police before being released.
Knox is still hitting the books at the University of Washington in Seattle. She said she will refuse to voluntarily return to Italy and prison.
Judge Nemecini has 90 days to submit a written report in which he explains the basis for the verdict. He immediately became a figure of controversy in the country shaped like a boot when he gave an interview in a major newspaper in Milan in which he said Sollecito hurt his chances of a not guilty verdict by failing to testify.
For his part, Solleciton once again became the center of attention when he appeared on CNN and blamed his association with Knox for his conviction and prison sentence.
"You all know that the focus was only through Amanda to her peculiar behavior, but whatever it is, I'm not guilty for it," Sollecito said, according to the London Daily Mirror.
He was further quoted in the Mirror as saying, "They focus all their attention on her and I don't, I cannot understand really why, but on the other side I'm not responsible for that."
Rudy Guede was convicted for the 2007 murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher and sentenced to 16 years in prison which he is now serving. Knox and Sollecito were convicted in 2009 but released from prison in October of 2011 when the conviction was reversed by an intermediate appellate court in Italy which threw out the DNA evidence.
However, in March of 2013 the Court of Cassation (Italy's Supreme Court), ordered another trial and stating the knife with Knox's DNA on the handle and Kercher's blood on the blade should be considered as evidence. The Court of Cassation will hear the appeal after the presiding judge writes his opinion regarding the guilty verdict.
Italy's best female attorney Giulia Bongiorno will once again attempt to get Sollecito's murder conviction reversed. The odds may be stacked against her though as the same court which threw out the not guilty, will hear this appeal.
Many legal experts believe Knox's fate will be decided by the extradition process. Sollecito is a citizen of Italy and cannot rely on that for protection. He will have to hope Bongiorno can work her magic for him one more time.
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