Acquitted Knox defendant to honour the dead

 BARI,  -- Many will remember Raffaele Sollecito as the man who, along with his ex-girlfriend Amanda Knox, spent four years in prison for the accused murder of Meredith Kercher before being acquitted in March of 2015.  Now his story takes a bizarre turn as he has revealed his new enterprise, a social network for deceased loved ones.

 Funded by an Italian regional government with a grant of 66,000 euros, the app and e-commerce site was presented on Monday at the Italian Songs’ Festival in the city of San Remo, in the northwest of Italy.  Titled Memories, the enterprise offers a wide range of “graveside services” such as gravestone cleaning, sending flowers to be lain on the graves and lighting candles for the dead.

 With prices starting at around 45 euros, the social network will focus around photos and videos posted on a person’s profile by friends and family or by the company once a service has been performed.

 “[The idea] was born from a sad event, in 2005, when my mother died and I was looking to commemorate her death,” reports Sollecito. “In this way, it eliminates the distance.” 

 Sollecito gained his degree in Computer Science at the University of Apulia whilst serving time and was able to turn his dream into a reality once he was released.  Though it currently only serves graves in Italy, he hopes to expand to make this a global enterprise.

 At the end of January Sollecito sued the Italian state for more than 500,000 euros for wrongful imprisonment in the infamous Amanda Knox case.  Meredith Kercher, an exchange student from London, was found dead in the apartment she had been sharing with Knox in 2007.  Whilst Ivorian Rudy Guede was convicted at the first trial for DNA samples found in their home, Italian authorities suspected that Sollecito and Knox were also involved, leading to a long legal battle and four years of imprisonment before they were acquitted at the end of March 2015.

 The site will be active from the beginning of March of this year.