Italy's justice ministry announces probe into Knox judge for media comments

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Sollecito's defense lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, had requested in her closing argument that the jury not consider Sollecito as an extension of Knox, but look at him in his own right. The two defense teams, nonetheless, remained very close in their arguments and maintained a common alibi that the couple had spent the night of the murder together in Sollecito's apartment.

Maori pointed out that the prosecution never requested Sollecito's testimony.

Nencini on Monday denied having made any judgment on the defendants' legal strategy. "If my words generated a misunderstanding about the absolute legitimacy of the choice of a defendant to make voluntary statements, I regret it," the news agency ANSA quoted him as saying.

He said he had spoken "casually" with journalists he ran into in tribunal corridors and who had presented him with "rumors and inferences" about the deliberations.

"My intention was to clear up possible misunderstandings," Nencini was quoted as saying.

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