The Italian man convicted with American student Amanda Knox of murdering her British roommate insisted Friday that Knox, his former girlfriend, is a "sweet girl" who is incapable of murder, Sky News reported.
Raffaele Sollecito, who was convicted with Knox last week by an Italian jury of murdering British student Meredith Kercher, said from his jail cell that "Amanda is a very dear person to me even if we were only together for a short while," according to the report.
Kercher, a 21-year-old Leeds University student, was stabbed to death in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007.
Knox, 22, of Seattle, was sentenced to 26 years; Sollecito, 25, got 25 years.
"She is also living a nightmare — we both find ourselves in a tremendous situation," Sollecito told the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero through his attorney.
"I am not in love with Amanda but I feel close to her as she is my companion in a misadventure," he said. "Amanda is not capable of killing anyone — it's impossible and absurd. She is such a sweet girl."
Sollecito also said that Knox's promise of "hot sex" as they shopped for underwear after the murder had been misinterpreted.
"We went to buy underwear because all Amanda's stuff had been seized," he told the newspaper.
Everything that's been said is wrong. It was only a joke.
"Yes, it was about the underwear and Amanda, but it was only a joke."
The incident has been cited as an example of Knox's unemotional response to the discovery of her roommate's body.
Prosecutors said Sollecito held Meredith down while Knox stabbed her to death with a 6-inch kitchen knife after what started as some kind of sex game.
The two committed the killing along with small-time drug dealer Rudy Guede, 22, who was sentenced to 30 years last October.
Knox and Sollecito are both planning to appeal the verdicts.
Sky News contributed to this report.