Amanda Knox's Ex-Boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito Stands for Retrial

Sat, 11/09/2013 - 06:00

Amanda Knox’s former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito took the stand in a Florence court on Wednesday for the first time since the retrial for the murder of Meredith Kercher began.

Sollecito, 29, is not testifying in the case; he made a spontaneous declaration, which is the right of any defendant in an Italian trial, and was not under oath.

In a dramatic testimony, wiping tears away at some point, Sollecito proclaimed his innocence and spoke of his love for Amanda. “Amanda was my first true love,” he said. "Amanda was carefree. She and I wanted to be isolated in our nest of desire in a little fairy tale. We were thinking of anything but the distorted, scornful vision of humanity of which we are being accused by the whole world. I want you to understand how absurd the accusations against us are."

Sollecito said his life has been ruined and that he can’t find a job because everyone thinks he’s an assassin. "I have been described as a ruthless killer, but I am nothing of the sort. For me, it's a nightmare that goes beyond imagination. Right now, I don't have a real life," he said.

"I would like to make you understand that these charges against me are absurd," he continued. "There was not a basis to charge me, to put me in jail. I don't wish anybody on Earth to go through what I went through."

The results of new DNA testing on a kitchen knife found in Sollecito's house were presented at the hearing. Prosecutors say it was one of the weapons used to kill Kercher in the home she shared with Knox in Perugia. The tests found a trace of Knox's DNA between the blade and the handle of the knife, but the result is seen as inconclusive in the trial, with the defense saying it clears the couple and prosecutors saying it implicates them. No DNA belonging to the slain British student was identified.

Knox remains in Seattle, having said she is not coming back to Italy for retrial.

A ruling is expected later this month or next month.

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