Meredith Kercher killer Rudy Guede could be freed within days

Rudy Guede, the only person definitively convicted of the murder of the British student Meredith Kercher, could be freed in the coming days after completing 13 years of a 16-year sentence.

Guede’s sentence is due to end on 4 January, but he has asked magistrates to reduce it by a further 45 days.

Fabrizio Ballarini, Guede’s lawyer, said on Monday that the supervising magistrate was evaluating the request and if granted, Guede would be released straight away.

“We don’t know when the decision will come, it could be tomorrow morning, the end of this week or early next,” he added.

Kercher, a 21-year-old student from Coulsdon, Surrey, was murdered in her home in the university town of Perugia in November 2007. Her body was found in her bedroom, partly undressed with multiple stab wounds. She had also been sexually assaulted.

Guede was initially sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2008 after a fast-track trial, but that was reduced on appeal to 16 years.

The convictions of two other suspects, Amanda Knox, an American student who shared the house with Kercher, and her Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were overturned.

Guede, 35, was first granted day release from Viterbo prison in 2017 to complete a master’s degree, and before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic he had been working in the library of the town’s criminology centre. After the centre closed because of the pandemic, Guede started working as a volunteer for the Catholic charity Caritas. In December 2020, he was entrusted to social services to complete his sentence doing community service, meaning he did not have to return to prison at night.

“This is only granted to prisoners with a positive prison curriculum and he had the requisites to be able to ask,” said Ballarini.

Knox and Sollecito spent four years in prison after initially being convicted of Kercher’s murder. They were acquitted in 2011 before being convicted again in 2014 by an appeals court in Florence, which ruled that the multiple injuries inflicted on Kercher’s body proved that Guede could not have acted alone. Italy’s highest court overturned the decision in a definitive ruling in 2015, because of what it described as “stunning flaws” in the investigation that led to the convictions of Knox and Sollecito.


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