Cleared man '˜in debt' after Leeds student Meredith Kercher murder case

THE man found not guilty of murdering Leeds student Meredith Kercher in Italy has said he has been left in financial difficulty by the legal costs incurred while proving his innocence.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26th January 2017, 5:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th January 2017, 6:06 pm
Raffaele Sollecito
Raffaele Sollecito

Raffaele Sollecito was arrested in 2007, along with his then-girlfriend Amanda Knox, for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Italy.

He was twice convicted, before Italy’s highest court found him not guilty.

He has launched a compensation bid against the Italian government. The hearing is due to take place today.

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Meredith Kercher. Picture: PA

Mr Sollecito told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme the murder was “a tragedy that has destroyed my life”.

He said he hoped the court would “understand that I at least need to clear up my debts”.

The amount an individual can receive in compensation from the Italian government is capped at 516,000 euros (£440,000).

Mr Sollecito said this amount would “just pay the debts we have”.

Meredith Kercher. Picture: PA

He said he had sold two properties - including his late mother’s apartment - to fund the legal costs incurred over the past decade.

Ms Kercher, a 21-year-old University of Leeds student, was sexually assaulted and stabbed to death during a year abroad in Perugia in a flat she shared with Ms Knox.

In March 2015, following three previous court decisions, Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox had their convictions for her murder quashed by Italy’s top appeals court.

He said he was “still facing a lot of trouble, as people don’t understand why I’ve been acquitted.” Mr Sollecito said he speaks to Ms Knox “very occasionally.”