• SATURDAY
  • NOVEMBER 27, 2021
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Student's killer Rudy Guede ends sentence


Meredith Kercher was an exchange student at the University of Perugia in 2007. COURTESY


Rudy Guede, convicted of the 2007 murder of UK exchange student Meredith Kercher, has finished his sentence early saying he wants to be forgotten. Guede, 34, was the only person jailed over the notorious sexual assault and murder in Perugia, in central Italy.


Meredith Kercher's American flatmate Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend were also initially convicted. Their case ran through the courts for years before they were eventually acquitted on appeal. Guede's initial 30-year jail term was cut to 16 years and he has spent the past year doing community service. The Ivorian national was due to be freed in January but magistrates in the city of Viterbo, where he now lives, granted him early release.

His lawyer confirmed to the BBC on Tuesday that they had received notification that the jail sentence had been completed. "My initial thoughts are with Meredith Kercher's family who've been confronted by this painful affair," the lawyer, Fabrizio Ballarini, told Italian media.

Ms Kercher, from Coulsdon in south London, had been in Perugia for three months on an exchange from Leeds University when she was killed. She was studying modern history, political theories and history of cinema.

Since her death, her family has campaigned for the truth. Six years ago her sister Stephanie said they were unlikely to ever know what really happened.

Guede left Perugia and travelled to Germany in the days after Ms Kercher's murder.

After his extradition back to Italy he chose a fast-track trial, held in a closed session without journalists present, and was subsequently convicted of the murder after his bloodstained fingerprints were identified at the scene.


However, he continues to deny murdering Ms Kercher. He was given partial prison release in 2017, and his lawyer told local media after the ruling that his client was "calm and socially well integrated". Over the last year, Guede has volunteered for the charity Caritas and worked as a librarian at the Viterbo criminological studies centre, Italian media say.

Claudio Mariani, a teacher at the centre, told Ansa news agency that numerous media outlets had asked Guede for interviews but that he "wants to be forgotten by the world". Ms Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were separately convicted of Ms Kercher's murder in 2009.

Their arrests and the guilty verdicts generated international media attention. The pair served four years behind bars before those convictions were overturned. After a number of appeals and retrials Italy's highest court acquitted them both definitively in March 2015.

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