By Josh McGill
Raffaele Sollecito has declared he and his family have been left in major financial trouble due to the legal costs incurred while proving his innocence.
Mr Sollecito was arrested in 2007 for the murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. His then-girlfriend Amanda Knox was also arrested. Together they were convicted twice before being exonerated by the Italian Supreme court.
Mr Sollecito has now begun a lawsuit against the Italian government, with the hearing taking place on Friday. He has requested 516,000 euros (£440,000) in compensation, which is the capped amount that an individual can request from the Italian government.
Speaking to BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Mr Sollecito spoke of how he was around 400,000 euros in debt. He said he hopes the court would “understand that I at least need to clear up my debts” and that this amount would “just pay the debts we have”.
Despite both Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox having their names cleared by the Italian courts. He said: “(I’m) still facing a lot of trouble, as people don’t understand why I’ve been acquitted.”
Ms Kercher, 21, was stabbed to death in her flat that she shared alongside Ms Knox. Rudy Guede, who was 20 at the time of the murder, was trialled separately from Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox, and was found guilty of murder and sexual assault. Guede was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
In March 2015, Mr Sollecito and Ms Knox had their murder convictions quashed by Italy’s top appeals court following three previous court decisions.
Mr Sollecito also told the Victoria Derbyshire show how he speaks to Ms Knox “very occasionally.”
Mr Sollecito still lives in Italy and runs his own business called ‘Memories’, dedicated to remembering the dead.