Sollecito will return to Italy for Kercher murder retrial
Knox has said will not attend repeat of appeals trial25 September, 10:58
Sollecito, who faces a repeat of the appeals-level trial along with his American former girlfriend Amanda Knox after Italy's supreme court overturned the pair's acquittals, is currently out of the country, prompting speculation he may intend to flee justice.
But his father said that Sollecito was simply in Santo Domingo for a "brief holiday" and would return for the retrial, which is scheduled to start in Florence on Monday. "We have absolute respect for the institutions and my son does not intend to run away," Francesco Sollecito told ANSA. "We are working without stop to show he is innocent in court".
Sollecito, who had been in the United States, has said he will not come back for the first hearings but will be back before the end to defend himself.
Knox has said she will not return to Italy for the retrial.
The 26-year-old American has said she was ready to do anything to prove her innocence, including taking a lie-detector test, but added that she was scared of the Italian justice system as she had already been unjustly imprisoned and that she wants to avoid a repetition of this.
Knox and Sollecito were convicted of 26 and 25 years in prison respectively in the original murder trial in 2009. They were later acquitted on appeal only for Italy's high Court of Cassation to send the case back to the appeals stage.
Italy's supreme court suggested a closer investigation into a knife that had been seized in Sollecito's house at the time of the original investigation.
The top court said the appeals court's dismissal of forensic evidence was flawed and found that the original prosecution theory, of a sex game gone wrong, might be the best explanation of what happened on the night of November 1-2, 2007.
Ivorian Rudy Guede has been definitively convicted of the murder but the Cassation Court found it unlikely he acted alone.
Kercher's family welcomed the case being sent back to appeal while Knox and Sollecito reaffirmed their innocence.