Amanda Knox ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito found by police near Italian border, has passport confiscated

Sollecito has, for the second time, been found guilty along with Amanda Knox of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher

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The Independent Online

Amanda Knox’s ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito has been found by police near Italy's border with Slovenia and Austria just hours after the pair were, for the second time, found guilty of murdering British student Meredith Kercher.

Sollecito, an Italian national, had been in court earlier in the day but was not present for the ruling Thursday evening.

Police showed up at the hotel where he was staying with his girlfriend in Venzone, about 25 miles (40 kilometres) from the border at around 1am, the cabinet chief of the Udine police station, Giovanni Belmonte, said.

They took him to the Udine police station, confiscated his passport and put a stamp in his Italian identity papers showing that he cannot leave the country, as ruled by the appeals court in Florence which found him guilty.

His lawyer, Luca Maori, said his client voluntarily went to police today and that he was in the area of Italy's north-eastern border because that is where his current girlfriend lives.

Although a travel ban was placed on Sollecito by the court, which noted that there was a “real and actual the danger that Sollecito could escape Italian justice”, it did not order his arrest.

Sollecito will therefore be freed as soon as the paperwork is completed, Mr Belmonte said. He said Sollecito was calm and came willingly to the station, with his girlfriend driving behind.

Asked if police thought he might have fled the country, Mr Belmonte said: “We don't know his intentions,” but said police were tipped off to his presence in the hotel and came immediately.

In Italy, adults checking into hotels must hand over ID, which the hotels are then required to communicate to local police.

A police statement read: “Raffaele Sollecito... was notified of the cautionary measures of the travel ban and the confiscation of his passport.”

The court in Florence yesterday sentenced Knox to 28 and a half years in prison and Sollecito to 25 years for Ms Kercher's murder.

Knox, who is currently in the US after an appeals court in 2011 acquitted the pair and ordered them freed, was “justifiably abroad” the court said.

Speaking before the verdict was announced, Knox said: “I'm definitely not going back willingly. They will have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming into a prison that I don't deserve to be in.”