Mafia figure insists brother murdered Kercher
Sollecito to make statement in appeals retrial04 October, 14:09
Luciano Aviello, who met Sollecito in prison, is in prison after being convicted of membership in the Naples-based Camorra mafia and testified that his brother was responsible for murder of Meredith Kercher.
Aviello, a former informant on the Camorra, repeated earlier statements that his brother Antonio broke into the house shared by Kercher and Knox in order to rob the women, then murdered Kercher.
Sollecito and his co-accused Amanda Knox are facing a second appeals trial on charges of murdering Kercher while the trio were studying in Perugia in 2007. Meanwhile, Sollecito wants to make a "voluntary statement" at this trial, his lawyer told the court.
Giulia Bongiorno did not say when her client, who has maintained his innocence, would make his statement to the Florence court. A judge has ordered new DNA tests on the knife believed to be the murder weapon in the slaying blamed on Knox, an American student, and her Italian ex-boyfriend Sollecito.
The pair had been convicted of the November 1, 2007, sexual assault and stabbing of Kercher, 21, who was found dead on the floor of the house she shared with Knox in Perugia.
That 2009 conviction was overturned on appeal in 2011 but a judge later ordered a second trial.
Knox, who returned to the United States after her release on appeal, is not expected to appear at the Florence trial.
Her lawyer, Luciano Ghirga, said he was confident that new tests on the knife would find no new evidence.
However, Bongiorno said that she hoped new evidence would be found because it would exonerate Sollecito.
The final hearing of this new appeals trial is expected in November, according to a court-released timetable, paving the way for a possible verdict by Christmas.