Amanda Knox's ex Raffaele Sollecito has cast doubt on her movements on the night Meredith Kercher was murdered, in a development that could potentially incriminate his former girlfriend and co-defendant.
In an explosive press conference in Rome today, Sollecito and his defense team appeared to call into question 26-year-old Knox's claim that she was with him for the entire night on which Meredith Kercher was found stabbed to death in a flat the two girls shared in the Italian town of Perugia.
Sollecito claimed a note his former girlfriend had written in prison that she later retracted - in which she admitted being present that night in 2007 when Kercher was killed - was full of "fantasy and hallucinations".
He added, "[But] If it’s true, I will ask [the judge] what have I got to do with it?"
Raffaele Sollecito speaks to journalists in Rome today
Last month, Italian judges reinstated a guilty verdict against Knox and her former boyfriend Sollecito , after the pair were acquitted of Kercher's murder on appeal in 2011. They are now awaiting a judgement from Italy's highest court, the Court of Cassation, which could uphold or overturn the verdict.
Knox has long claimed that she was with Sollecito, making love and watching TV, on the night Kercher was killed.
But at the news conference today, the 30-year-old IT graduate said he could not be held responsible for the actions of his former girlfriend, saying: "I am not the guarantor of Amanda Knox, I am Raffaele Sollecito."
Sollecito's attorney Giulia Bongiorno was also keen to distance her client's actions from those of Knox, and claimed much of the evidence against Knox has also been unfairly used to convict Sollecito.
Last month's judgement that reinstated the guilty verdict against Sollecito and Knox rested in part on a text message sent by Knox, in which she claimed she was in Sollecito's house when cell phone records actually placed her in a street.
"We are drawing attention to the text," said Bongiorno. "It shows Amanda was out, but has been used to prove the guilt of both Knox and Sollecito. Why?"
"I have always believed in the innocence of Amanda. But I have to react to the accusations of the court and to the text message," said Sollecito.
"Either the court has made their umpteenth mistake or she lied to me. I was in love with her and we had some very happy moments, but ultimately Amanda was a stranger.
"There are anomalies in her version of events. Against me there is nothing."
Amanda Knox holds a sign reading "we are innocent" in a post on Twitter this February
Sollecito's statements today were somewhat contradictory. After voicing uncertainty over Amanda's movements the night of the murder, he again emphasised he did not think Knox was guilty, saying: "My family and I have always believed in the innocence of Amanda Knox."
He also insisted he was not changing his version of events, but his confused account of Knox's whereabouts is a further sign that he is distancing himself from his co-defendant.
In a CNN interview back in February, Sollecito followed his attorney's lead by suggesting his defence case should be treated separately from that of Knox's.
"There is nothing against me and nothing very strong against Amanda," he said. "And in my case, I really did nothing wrong, and I don't want to pay for someone else's peculiar behaviour."
Meredith Kercher was found dead in the flat she shared with Amanda Knox in November 2007
In another interview, he claimed Knox had spent the night with him but went back to her place to shower. When she returned, she was "very agitated," he said.
She told him that it looked like someone had broken in and that there was blood in the bathroom, Sollecito said.
But rather than call police, she showered and returned to his place.
"Certainly I asked her questions," he said. "Why did you take a shower? Why did she spend so much time there?"
He noted that didn't get any real answers from her.
"I'm not saying that Amanda is responsible for all this situation, but they focus on her and they accuse her all the time, but I have nothing to do with all these circumstances and all these accusations," he added.
Knox appeared to support this claim by Sollecito, saying on Facebook: "The only reason he has been dragged into this is because he happens to be my alibi."
The flat where Meredith Kercher was found dead in Perugia, Italy
Both Kercher and Knox were 21 years old and studying Italian in the picturesque town of Perugia, when Kercher was found stabbed to death in the flat they shared on 2 November 2007. Sollecito and Knox had been dating for just one week at the time.
Another man, Rudy Guede, is already serving a 16-year prison sentence after being convicted of Kercher's murder at an earlier trial.
Last month, the appeals court in Florence said the victim's wounds indicated multiple aggressors.
The judges said they believe both Knox and Sollecito wielded knives, as Guede held Kercher down and committed a sexual assault. They claimed it was Knox who "delivered the only mortal blow" that night, striking Kercher with a kitchen knife.
Knox and Sollecito were originally convicted of the murder in 2007. Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months and Sollecito received 25 years. Both served four years in prison before being released on appeal, with Knox travelling back to live in the States.
Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito are escorted into court in 2008
Both Knox and Sollecito have always maintained their innocence in the affair.
"I have stated from the beginning of this long ordeal that I am innocent of the accusations against me," Knox said last month. "Experts agreed that my DNA was not found anywhere in Meredith's room, while the DNA of the actual murderer, Rudy Guede, was found throughout that room and on Meredith's body."
If the guilty verdict against Knox and Sollecito is upheld by Italy's highest court, it will undergo a lengthy process to extradite Knox back to Italy to serve prison time.
Photos: Rex Features