By FRANCES D’EMILIO
ROME — Amanda Knox’s former Italian boyfriend said Tuesday the American student provided alibis for him that he will use to try to persuade Italy’s court of last resort to dismiss his conviction for the murder of her British roommate.
Raffaele Sollecito hopes the Court of Cassation will rule he deserves yet another trial and throw out the 25-year sentence he received in January from a Florence appeals court, which convicted both him and Knox for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, 21.
His lawyers will stress apparent contradictions in the Florence court’s 337-page verdict explanation.
That court signaled it believed a memo Knox wrote, while being held for questioning, in which she indicates Sollecito had no role in the murder.
“She herself lets me off the hook and gives me an alibi,” Sollecito, 30, said. He noted the court accepted findings that a Knox text message, shortly before the murder, to the owner of a Perugia pub where she worked, had been sent while outside Sollecito’s house.
Yet he insisted he wasn’t trying to pin the murder on the American.
Flanked by his lawyers in Rome, he stressed what he described as his steadfast belief in the innocence of Knox, whom he had been dating for barely a week when Kercher was slain in Perugia, Italy.
Kercher was sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times. Her half-naked body was found in her bedroom.
“I want to make clear that I and all the people around me, including my family, have always believed, and we still believe today, in the innocence of Amanda Marie Knox.”
The Florence court sentenced Knox to 28 ½ years in prison. The 26-year-old, who has repeatedly proclaimed her innocence, has been in America since an earlier court ruling, in 2011, acquitted both her and Sollecito.