Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted then cleared with Amanda Knox of killing Meredith Kercher PIC: ITV
A man accused of murdering British student Meredith Kercher has revealed he still has a relationship with his former girlfriend and co-defendant Amanda Knox.
Speaking on ITV's Daybreak, Raffaele Sollecito revealed that he and Knox were still in contact with each other, nearly six years after Kercher was killed at a house she shared with American student Knox in Perugia, Italy.
Sollecito and Knox were convicted of the crime in 2009 and then spent nearly two years in an Italian jail, until they were freed on appeal in 2011.
Now Sollecito is facing a retrial at the end of September, while Knox is beyond the reach of Italian authorities in the United States. Sollecito denies killing Kercher.
Despite the huge distance and different circumstances which now separate them, Sollecito said he and Knox have not lost contact.
"We're in touch, actually. We are friends. Nowadays my life is very different from hers. She lives very close with her family, she's under the US law and she's not forced to make decisions, like going back to Italy and facing the appeal again. But my situation is very different."
Their relationship is no longer a romantic one, he insisted. "No, we moved on completely. We live different lives in different parts.
Being arrested and convicted of murdering Kercher destroyed any romance, Sollecito said. "It was shut down, it was destroyed by events and circumstances."
He and Knox knew each other for only nine days before the world's attention was drawn to them by the murder of exchange student Kercher.
Images went around the world of him and Knox kissing outside the property where Kercher died while police were inside. Sollecito claimed the pictures created a misleading picture.
"There were two or three kisses at most, they repeated the kisses all over again to make it look there was half an hour of kissing. I just wanted to comfort her.
"She was alone by herself. I felt the need to protect her in that condition - it was something caring, not something passionate."
He insisted he had no regrets about his brief and passionate relationship with Knox.
"It was a teenage romance," he said. "It was bloosming and we dated each other to see each other every day, but as soon as we dated, then we started to have this romance.
"It's not her fault," he said of everything which has happened since then. "I know that if I didn't meet her I would have another destiny, but it doesn't change the fact the dreadful mistakes were not made by her. The counsel, the detectives and prosecution [are responsible] and they didn't want to change along the way."
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