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Sollecito with fiancée in secret location

Ex-beau of Amanda Knox sentenced with her to prison for murder

31 January, 17:16
Sollecito with fiancée in secret location (See related) (ANSA) - Udine, January 31 - Raffaele Sollecito left police headquarters in the northern Italian city of Udine with his fiancée Greta Menegaldo on Friday but neither said where he will be staying.

Sollecito handed in his passport to police following his conviction on Thursday, along with ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox, for the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher.

Sollecito drove away from the police station in a Mini Cooper belonging to the father of his fiancée.

Her father confirmed they are together but said he would not reveal where.

"My daughter and Sollecito are together, I know where they are but I certainly cannot say," the man said.

Greta, who is employed as a hostess, reportedly has her own apartment near Ponte di Piave, about 70 kms from Udine.

Sollecito was sentenced to 26 years in prison and Knox to 28 years and six months in Thursday's fourth verdict. Sollecito's ban from leaving the country is being applied as the case goes to a final stage of hearings at the supreme Court of Cassation in Rome.

Sollecito asked people for empathy in an interview with ANSA on Friday.

"I'd like others to put themselves in my shoes," said the 29-year-old who denies wrongdoing. "I won't talk about the verdict". Sollecito raised suspicions he was trying to flee Italian justice on Friday when police stopped him after a brief trip to Austria.

At dawn police caught up with the 29-year-old at the Carnia hotel in Venzone, 40 kilometers from the Austrian border, to notify him he was banned from leaving the country while awaiting his appeal trial at the supreme court. Police officers said he confessed to "driving in Austria, then coming back to Italy". "I stopped there to rest," he said, according to police. He later told his lawyers "I never thought of fleeing, not in the past nor now". Attorney Luca Maori said his client went to police "on his own accord" to hand over his passport. He said Sollecito was visiting his fiancée in the northeastern border region of Friuli because he was "stressed" by court proceedings that lasted over 12 hours Thursday.