Sollecito thesis analyzes Kercher case

Young murder convict obtains second degree before appeal

(ANSA) - Perugia, July 15 - Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted along with former girlfriend Amanda Knox of killing Meredith Kercher, graduated Tuesday from Verona University with a degree in computer engineering.
    In his thesis, which he wrote in English and defended in Italian, he analyzed social networks, including the numbers of those who favored or opposed his conviction.
    This is the second degree for Sollecito, who graduated from Perugia University while in custody during his first murder trial, in 2008. Knox and Sollecito were initially convicted of the murder at the original trial in Perugia in 2009 and served a total of four years in prison including pre-trial custody.
    That conviction was overturned on appeal two years later, but in 2013 Italy's supreme court ordered a repeat of the appeals trial, saying evidence linking Knox and Sollecito to the murder scene had not been properly considered.
    In January, the Florence court sentenced Knox to 28 and a half years in prison and Sollecito to 25 years.
    A third person convicted of the killing in a separate fast-track proceeding, Rudy Guede, a drifter from the Ivory Coast, is serving 16 years in prison.
    Knox and Sollecito, both of whom have steadfastly proclaimed their innocence, are appealing to Italy's highest court.
    Sollecito is free pending the result of that appeal. Knox was convicted the second time in absentia, and is living in the United States.