TODAY

TODAY   |  May 17, 2013

Raffaele Sollecito, Amanda Knox’s ex: ‘I’m innocent’

The man who was convicted with his then-girlfriend Amanda Knox of killing Knox’s roommate and then was cleared four years later talks to Savannah Guthrie about Italy’s highest court ordering him to appear in a new trial next year.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we will talk to him in a moment but first his story. in the saga of amanda knox , sollecito is perhaps best known from this image, kissing knox outside the apartment where meredith kercher was brutally murdered just one day before. that was six years ago. knox and her boyfriend of just seven days, raffaele sollecito were convicted of the murder, both sentenced to prison. sollecito had several opportunities to abandon knox and cut a deal but he never did despite the fact he never really knew her. an appeals court overturned because of insufficient evidence and two months ago a new trial was ordered to begin within the next year. raffaele sollecito is with us exclusively.

his book is called "honor bound: my journey to hell and back with amanda knox ." good morning.

>> good morning.

>> most recently the italian supreme court overturned your acquittal, which means you are once again facing this process all over again.

>> yes. i'm -- me and all my family are all disappointed for this decision because we don't understand the reason why, but we are confident because we know that, everybody knows that i'm innocent, and we got the evidence of our innocence so we will fight until the end without any worry.

>> you spent all those years in jail. do you fear that you could be convicted and sent to prison again?

>> no. it's something like a very far away thought in my mind because i already know that i'm innocent, and we already have proved it, so for me, it's kind of none sense.

>> what strikes me about your story you knew amanda knox just seven days when all of this happened, and there was enormous pressure on you to implicate her, to point the finger at her, and you didn't.

>> yes. it was quite normal to me like getting the facts as they were. so i had to be very serious, not playing a game with some people who wanted this game to be played.

>> did you ever think to yourself, why am i standing by this girl i barely know?

>> yes, but it was normal because i cannot throw a 20-year-old innocent girl for just giving me the opportunity to live my life because i wouldn't have ever lived a life like that.

>> has she ever expressed gratitude to you?

>> yes. yes. she told me that she thinks that i'm a kind of hero but i don't feel so and i don't need any kind of gratitude. it's just like i did it because i know in truth it's a really good thing to do. it's the only way for me.

>> there were some strange incidents and you write in your book thinking some of her behavior was odd. did you ever doubt her?

>> no. her behavior doesn't match with the facts, with the real facts are that we are innocent. there's no anything, nothing inside the murder scene that links us to the murder.

>> what's your relationship with amanda knox like now? i understand you visited her in seattle.

>> yeah, we are. we're friends. we are good friends and we have to fight again so we are kind of talking about how to move on to deal with this new trial and what we can expect.

>> is it difficult? because there are people particularly as i understand it in italy , your home country, who still wonder if amanda and maybe even you had something to do with meredith's murder. is it hard to live under that kind of --

>> yes, because the problem is that the media has tried to find the sensationalism. they don't try to explain the truth about the case. they don't make the facts straight on the record. they just try to grab people's attention.

>> it's been expected that amanda knox will not return to italy for this next phase, this new trial. will you be in italy for that trial?

>> i will be back. i will organize everything with my lawyers and just discussing about the time in which that i will be back.

>> before i let you go, do you have faith in the italian justice system ?

>> faith? i have faith in god. the italian justice system is something like you don't know what to expect.

>> raffaele sollecito , it's nice to have you here in person. thank you for coming here and sharing your story. we appreciate it.

>> thanks. thanks for giving me this opportunity.