Raffaele Sollecito was stopped at a hotel near the Italian boarder following the court verdict finding Sollecito and his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Knox, guilty of the murder of Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

Sollecito Stopped 25 Miles From Austrian Border

While Knox watched the court proceedings from her home in Seattle, Wash., Sollecito, an Italian citizen, was present during the trail, but reportedly left during the deliberations. Immediately following the guilty verdict Thursday, Jan. 30, Italian police seized Sollecito’s passport after tracking him down 25 miles from the Austrian border, though his lawyers insist that he was simply there to find some peace and was not planning on fleeing the country.

“He had planed on being away from the courthouse, away from his home and media hotspots after the verdict. His passport had been flagged already. It wasn’t like he could go to some border and use his passport… He would have been stopped no matter what,” lawyer for Sollecito John Q. Kelly said.

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Sollecito was reportedly detained by police for a few hours and released Friday, Jan. 31, with stern warnings not to attempt leaving the country during his appeal.

“As soon as I got the news there was a guilty verdict… I came right immediately back to Italy,” Sollecito told NBC.

Knox And Sollecito Will Appeal

On Thursday, a panel of judges and jurors overturned the 2001 appeal that had acquitted Sollecito and Knox and reinstated their original sentences, finding them both guilty of murder. Sollecito was sentenced to 25 years while Knox was sentenced to 28 years and six months. Both have expressed their plans to appeal the decision.

Upon hearing the verdict, Knox expressed her concern for Sollecito, fearing that he would be imprisoned for the duration of their appeal.

“My initial thought after the verdict was, ‘Oh my god, Raffaele.’ I feel very supported and very respected and believed here. And I know that he feels very supported and respected by many people in Italy but he is vulnerable, and I don’t know what I would do if they imprisoned him,” Knox said.

For now, both Sollecito and Knox remain free while the judge writes up the court’s decision and the appeal is set in motion.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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More on Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox:

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