ITALY STUDENT SLAIN
Gregorio Borgia  /  AP
Amanda Knox's father, Curt Knox, is surrounded by journalists as he arrives at court in Perugia on Friday for his daughter's murder trial.
updated 2/6/2009 3:05:45 PM ET 2009-02-06T20:05:45

An Italian student on trial for the murder of a British woman in Italy told a court Friday that he is the victim of a judicial error.

Raffaele Sollecito addressed the court in Perugia shortly before the first witnesses testified about finding Meredith Kercher's bloodied body in her locked bedroom.

Sollecito is on trial along with Amanda Knox, a U.S. student who is his former girlfriend. They are charged with murder and sexual violence in Kercher's slaying.

Both have denied wrongdoing.

Kercher was found stabbed to death Nov. 2, 2007 in the apartment she shared with Knox in Perugia, central Italy where both girls were exchange students.

"It all seems unreal, I've got nothing to do with it," Sollecito told the court. "I'm not a violent person and the thought of hurting somebody has never crossed my mind."

Sollecito said he hardly knew Kercher and that he had only just started dating Knox.

"I feel I am the victim of a judicial mistake," he said.

'There was quite a lot of blood'
In the first testimony of the trial, chief police inspector Michele Battistelli told the court that he was sent to the apartment where Kercher and Knox lived after receiving a report that Kercher's cell phone had been found nearby.

Friends who gathered at the apartment told police that it was suspicious that Kercher would part from the phone and that her bedroom door was locked, since she only locked it when she left for trips back home, Battistelli testified.

He said police decided to break down the door.

"There was quite a lot of blood," he said. "I saw (Kercher's) foot sticking out from the duvet, and given the color and the fact that she didn't move, I thought I'd call the emergency sanitary service."

Battistelli also said that Knox and Sollecito, whom he met at the crime scene, appeared "surprised, but calm."

Another police officer, Fabio Marzi, testified that Knox showed him small traces of blood in one of the apartment's bathrooms.

Sollecito addressed the court a second time to explain that he had remained close to Knox because she was "very shocked and cold."

"She was silent and was staring into space," he said.

'Very stressful time' for Knox
Sollecito said he had tried to break into Kercher's room before police arrived since he also thought it suspicious that the door was locked.

Knox, a University of Washington student from Seattle, was in court. She smiled at her father, Curt Knox, as she police escorted her into the courtroom. They exchanged a few words from a distance during the breaks.

"She seems fine," Curt Knox told The Associated Press during a pause in the proceedings. But shortly afterward, with tears in his eyes, he said "It's obviously a very stressful time for her."

A third defendant in the case, Ivory Coast national Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted last year of the same charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Guede, who had also denied wrongdoing, underwent a fast-track trial at his request.

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