Raffaele Sollecito's Alibi

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Raffaele's Constantly Changing Alibi

Version 1.0

Raffaele Sollecito originally told the police he was with Amanda Knox at her cottage on the day of the murder, and that after Meredith left he and Amanda went for a long walk, before heading to his apartment for dinner. They watched the movie Amélie while they made and ate dinner. Knox was supposed to work but there is some doubt about her intention to show up for her shift.[1] Knox received a text message from her boss that she deleted but the content is accepted as being something along the lines that Knox shouldn't come in. Knox and Sollecito turned off their mobile phones so that they wouldn't be bothered, and spent the night on the computer. They slept until about 10:30 am, when Knox left to have a shower and fetch a mop from her place.

Version 1.1

The next day Raffaele told the same story to Kate Mansey of the Sunday Mirror, but added now that they went to a party before going to his apartment.

Version 2.0

On November 5th Raffaele was called into the police station to answer questions regarding his original statement. Raffaele was having dinner with friends, and only went to the police station afterwards, arriving at 10:40 pm. Amanda came with him, even though her presence was not requested.[2] The head of the homicide unit Monica Napoleoni spoke to Knox who complained that she was tired and Napoleoni told her that she could go home but Knox insisted on waiting for Raffaele Sollecito.[3]

Raffaele was questioned while Amanda stayed in the waiting room of the police station. While Knox was waiting she spoke on the phone with Filomena Romanelli concerning the living arrangements.[4] She was also seen by several police officers doing cartwheels and the splits.[5] Sollecito was confronted with his phone records which showed that he called the emergency number at 12:51 pm, but the Postal Police stated that they had arrived at the cottage shortly after 12:30 pm. Confronted with this Raffaele quickly changed his story.

Amanda and I went into town at around 6 pm, but I don't remember what we did. We stayed there until around 8.30 pm or 9 pm. At 9 pm I went home alone and Amanda said that she was going to Le Chic because she wanted to meet some friends. We said goodbye. I went home, I rolled myself a spliff and made some dinner, but I do not remember what I ate. At about 11 pm per his usual custom my father called the house and Amanda had not yet returned. I spent the next two hours on the computer until Amanda arrived at 1 am[6][7]

He went to say that the following morning when Amanda left to have a shower, she asked to borrow some plastic bags to put dirty clothing in.[8] He also made it clear that he had lied in his earlier statement at Amanda's request.

In my previous statement I told a load of rubbish because Amanda had convinced me of her version of the facts and I didn't think about the inconsistencies[9][10]

Raffaele also stated that they slept until about 10:30 am when Knox left to have a shower, and he then went back to sleep.[11][12]

This statement caused Amanda Knox to change her story, and claim that she was at the cottage when the murder happened. Knox also falsely accused an innocent man in that statement.[13]

Version 3.0

Raffaele once again changes his story when he is asked to make a statement at his preliminary hearing. His story now is that he was at home, but that he does not remember whether Knox was with him.[14]

Version 3.1

In his prison diary entry for 7 Nov 2007, Raffaele writes at length concerning his confusion about the events of that night. He says that he and Amanda began to smoke cannabis at about 6 pm, and "from this moment come my problems, because I have confused memories".[15] He says that he presumes that he and Amanda had done some grocery shopping, before returning to his home around 8-8:30 pm, where they smoked more cannabis. He doesn't remember at what time he ate, but is certain that Amanda ate with him. He remembers surfing the Internet for a bit, maybe watching a film, and that his father called him. He thinks Amanda went out to the pub where she usually worked, but doesn't remember how much time she was absent. On the other hand, he remembers that she told him later that the pub was closed, and so doubts that she was absent. He is, however, sure that Amanda slept with him that night.[16]

During the trial, Raffaele would not confirm that Knox was with him on the evening of the murder. He elected to not testify and, while he did make several spontaneous statements, he never corroborated Knox's alibi.

Version 4.0

At the conclusion of the appeal in October 2011, Sollecito finally confirmed Knox's alibi, and in his final spontaneous statement explicitly asserted that Amanda Knox was at his apartment on the night of the murder. Four years after telling the police that she was not with him, and had gone out alone, and also that she had asked him to lie for her, Raffaele came full circle and now told the court that Amanda Knox could not have murdered Meredith Kercher, because she was at his apartment the entire night.

Version 4.1

After his release Raffaele wrote a book, and while he mostly sticks to the version of Knox being at his apartment, he does at one point return to the claim that he can't be certain that she did not go out.

Version 5.0

On July 1, 2014, Sollecito and his lawyers held a press conference in which he distanced himself from Knox, drew attention to inconsistencies in Knox's account of the evening of the murder, and stated that he could not account for Knox's movements in the early part of the evening. He did however say that they spent the night together at his home, although he couldn't remember the earlier period on account of his having smoked hashish.

He said, "I have always believed in Amanda’s innocence but I have to take account of what the appeal court judges wrote in their sentence. [...] I recognise that there are certain anomalies that emerge from the court papers."[17]

Why Raffaele's Alibi is a Lie

Lack of Computer Activity

Every version of his alibi has Raffaele using his computer. We know, however, that there was no computer internet activity after 9:10:32 pm, when the video file Amelie.avi stopped playing.[18] That activity could have been caused by the movie ending, without any human interaction.[19] The last computer activity that required human interaction was at 6:27:15 pm, when the movie file started playing.[20] There was no computer activity for the entire night. Firefox was open but no browsing occurred. There was a P2P program active, and Quicktime connected to Apple's servers on port 80 for 4 seconds at 12:58 am, but there was no human interaction.[21] The police contacted Sollecito's ISP provider (FastWeb), and the logs from that night show no webpage requests.[22]

This is a problem for Raffaele and Amanda's version of events. In every version of his story Raffaele puts himself on the computer. In the first version it is just a general claim that they were on the computer, in the second version he is very specific that he was on the computer from 11 pm until 1 am when Amanda returned, in his book he states that he was writing e-mails to his professors. In the second version of Raffaele Sollecito's story includes a claim that his father called him on his landline at 11pm the night of the murder but Officer Chiacchiera testified that there was no record of this call.[23]

Computer and Phone Activity When Raffaele Claims They Were Sleeping

In every version of his alibi Raffaele has both himself and Amanda sleeping until about 10 am or 10:30 am. This is contradicted by physical evidence. At 5:32:09 am someone attempted to play an MP3 file using the program VLC on Raffaele's computer.[24] This results in VLC crashing. There are two additional attempts to play the file using VLC that also lead to the program crashing.[25] The individual using the computer then switched to iTunes and successfully played the MP3 file which is roughly 30 minutes long.[26] So despite the claim that they slept until about 10 am, someone was awake and playing music in Raffaele's apartment at 5:30 am.

The second indication that Raffaele was awake much earlier than his alibi maintains, is that at 6:02:59 am his mobile phone was activated.[27] Both Raffaele and Amanda had turned off their mobile phones on the night of the murder and now at 6 am someone, presumably Raffaele, had turned on his phone.

Getting up early, is not a crime, and while it is uncommon for young people with little responsibility to get up so early, lying about it and continuing to insist on the lie even when computer and phone records establish without a doubt that one of them, at least, was awake earlier, makes no sense on its own. They probably insisted that they were sleeping until 10:30 am in an attempt to refute Marco Quintavalle, who testified that Amanda Knox was outside his store at 7:45 am waiting for it to open, and that she went directly to the cleaning products section. Quintavalle was not near the cashier, so he does not know if Knox purchased anything, but two bottles of bleach that Raffaele's maid denies were there before, were recovered from Raffaele's apartment.

Witnesses that Saw them in Public the Night of the Murder

The claim that they were at Raffaele's all night is further contradicted by two witnesses who saw them near the scene of the crime.

Antonio Curatolo

Antonio Curatolo testified that he saw Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in Piazza Grimana on the night of the murder.[28] Curatolo was a homeless man who often spent the night in Piazza Grimana. On the night of the murder Curatolo was in Piazza Grimana smoking and reading a news magazine.[29] Occasionally he would look up and he saw Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito in the square by the railing that looks over onto the cottage where the murder occurred. The first time Curatolo noticed Knox and Sollecito in the square was around 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm, and the last time around 11.00 pm -11.30 pm. When he departed at midnight, they were no longer in the square.[30] The couple returning to Piazza Grimana corresponds with the testimony of Nara Capezzali who claims that after hearing a scream at roughly 11pm she heard two people running in different directions.[31] One set of footsteps went up the metal stairs that lead to Via Pinturicchio.[32]

According to Curatolo the couple were talking animatedly and that Sollecito went to the edge of the railing and looked over toward the cottage.[33] Curatolo testified that when they left he went to the edge himself to look over and see what was so interesting but he didn't see anything. Curatolo could not state the date that this happened but he was certain that it was the day before the forensic police arrived making it the night of the murder.[34] Two business owners testified that Curatolo was on the bench in Piazza Grimana smoking and reading on the night of November 1, 2007.

During the 2011 appeal Judge Hellmann allowed a defense request to have Antonio Curatolo re-examined. Curatolo's testimony at the Hellmann appeal was less coherent. Shortly after testifying at the Hellmann appeal Curatolo passed away.

Hekuran Kokomani

Hekuran Kokomani testified that he saw Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede together the night of the murder, only a few meters from the cottage where Meredith was killed.[35] Kokomani's testimony was confused and at time contradictory. Kokomani had testified at the preliminary trial and the judge declared that Kokomani was not a reliable witness.[36]


Kokomani claims that he was driving in front of the cottage and that he had to stop quickly because there was a black garbage bag in the road.[37] When he stopped he realized the garbage bag was actually two people that Kokomani identified as Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito.[38] Kokomani claims to have punched Sollecito because he did not like his attitude.[39] Amanda Knox pulled a 16-inch knife from a green handbag and was holding it over her head with both hands.[40] Kokomani said Knox had the knife but was not threatening him with it only holding it above her head.[41] Raffaele Sollecito tried to assure Kokomani that there was no reason to be concerned by stating that Knox was only a girl. Kokomani went on to say that he then threw some olives and a cell phone he had in the car at Knox before driving away.[42]


According to Kokomani he then saw Rudy Guede. Kokomani asked Guede why the other two had knives and according to Kokomani Guede told him that the knife was to cut a cake for a celebration they were having at the cottage.[43] Kokomani also testified that Rudy Guede offered him money to borrow his car because they wanted to move some furniture the next day.[44] At this point Kokomani saw Sollecito approaching his car from behind so he took off. Kokomani claims he took a video knife but that he later deleted it.[45] Kokomani found out about the murder a few days later and called his lawyer Antonio Aiello to report what had happened.[46] Aiello was leaving for a vacation so did not deal with Kokomani's statement until January. Kokomani had problems with the law and was reluctant to go to the police but his lawyer encouraged him to.


Both Kokomani and Kokomani's lawyer Antonio Aiello testified that before Kokomani's name was public someone was offering €100,000 to either get the witness to not testify or for the name of the witness.[47][48] Kokomani testified and Aiello confirmed that Kokomani sought counsel a few days after Kokomani's name was made public because he was receiving threats and his wife and children in Albania were also threatened.[49][50] Kokomani had told a reporter that he was offered a bribe and there is evidence of Sollecito's family influencing the testimony of several witnesses.[51]


The story as told by Kokomani is hard to understand but completely ignoring it is problematic as well. Kokomani is confirmed to have been in the area on the night of the murder. He also did not want to go to the police so injecting himself into the trial for attention seems unlikely. At the same time the story as told is difficult to follow and confused. Parts of the story seem embellished but the core of the story that he saw Amanda Knox, Raffaele Sollecito, and Rudy Guede and that there was some kind of altercation seems truthful. So why would Kokomani embellish what happened the night of November 1? There are a few possible explanations. The first could be that he is just lashing out at the prosecution because of Kokomani's own arrest. In March of 2009 when Kokomani testified he was in prison having been arrested and convicted of drug offenses a few months after making his statement to the police.[52] It is possible that Kokomani who was reluctant to begin with now had no interest at all in helping the prosecution. A second possibility is Kokomani took the threats seriously so alter his testimony into the unbelievable jumble. As a final option there is also the possibility that Kokomani is just one of those characters who on every telling of a story makes it more fantastic. Kokomani refusing to use an interpreter did not help. The testimony had to be stopped multiple times so the interpreter could explain the meaning of works to Kokomani. Many questions were not answered because after repeated attempts Kokomani still did not understand what was being asked so the court moved on.

What Does This Mean for the Prosecution and Defense?

The huge issue that the defense can't ignore is that Raffaele withdrew support for Amanda Knox's alibi. He told the police that he lied and that he did so at Amanda's request. Sollecito then refused to confirm that Knox was with him on the night of the murder for four years. That is really difficult to overcome. There simply is no innocent reason to explain why Raffaele would do this.

The situation for the defense is also not good in that computer and phone records prove that Knox and Sollecito are lying about what they did that night. This doesn't put them at the murder scene but it does mean that they are untruthful about what they did that night. There wasn't any computer activity when the couple claim to have been using one, and there was computer and phone activity when the couple claim that they were sleeping. We also have three different witnesses that contradict their alibi. Witnesses are less reliable than physical evidence, but there are three of them, and their testimony is supported by the computer and phone records.

Notes

  1. Robin Butterworth's Testimony
  2. Amanda Knox's Testimony
  3. Massei Trial#Monica Napoleoni's Testimony
  4. Amanda Knox's Testimony
  5. Lorena Zugarini's Testimony Rita Ficarra's Testimony Monica Napoleoni's Testimony
  6. Simpson, Aislinn. Suspect statements in Kercher murder case The Telegraph 7 Nov 2007.
  7. Staff.Perugia, la verità di Amanda: lei era con Patrick e gridava Corriere Della Sere 7 Nov 2007
  8. Staff.Perugia, la verità di Amanda: lei era con Patrick e gridava Corriere Della Sere 7 Nov 2007
  9. Simpson, Aislinn. Suspect statements in Kercher murder case The Telegraph 7 Nov 2007.
  10. Staff.Perugia, la verità di Amanda: lei era con Patrick e gridava Corriere Della Sere 7 Nov 2007
  11. Simpson, Aislinn. Suspect statements in Kercher murder case The Telegraph 7 Nov 2007.
  12. Staff.Perugia, la verità di Amanda: lei era con Patrick e gridava Corriere Della Sere 7 Nov 2007
  13. Amanda's Statement to the Police
  14. Matteini Hearing
  15. Raffaele Sollecito's Prison Diary (Translated)
  16. Raffaele Sollecito's Prison Diary (Translated)
  17. Philip Willan, The Times, London, July 2, 2014.
  18. The Massei Report p.304
  19. The Massei Report p.304
  20. The Massei Report p.304
  21. The Massei Report p.305 and 310
  22. The Massei Report p.306
  23. Marco Chiacchiera's Testimony
  24. The Massei Report p.306
  25. The Massei Report p.306
  26. The Massei Report p.306
  27. The Massei Report p.317 (see also Phone Records)
  28. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  29. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  30. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  31. Nara Capezzali's Testimony
  32. Nara Capezzali's Testimony
  33. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  34. Antonio Curatolo's Testimony
  35. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  36. Wise, Ann. Homeless Man Puts Knox Near Crime Scene ABC News March 28 2009
  37. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  38. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  39. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  40. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  41. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  42. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  43. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  44. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  45. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  46. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  47. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  48. Antonio Aiello's Testimony - direct
  49. Hekuran Kokomani's Testimony - Direct
  50. Antonio Aiello's Testimony - Dalla Vedova cross-examination
  51. See Fabio Leonardo's testimony as well as the testimony of Ana Marina Chiriboga's Testimony who previously testified that there was no bleach at Raffaele Sollecito's apartment but then after meeting with Sollecito's lawyer changed her statement to claim that there was bleach. Also see the Luciano Aviello affair. Luciano Aviello testified that his brother was the real killer. That was contradicted by several inmates who testified that Aviello was bragging about being given money by the Sollecito family for a sex change operation in exchange for him making these false statements. Aviello himself would later admit that he accepted a bribe from the Sollecito family to give false testimony. Then in 2013 now in the process of gender reassignment Aviello again testified that it was his brother who killed Meredith and denied accepting a bribe. For more information on Aviello see The Prison Informants.
  52. Wise, Ann. Homeless Man Puts Knox Near Crime Scene ABC News March 28 2009