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Rudy Guede

Italy frees man convicted of 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher

Rudy Guede was freed today after serving most of his 16-year prison sentence.

THE ONLY PERSON convicted in the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher has been freed after serving most of his 16-year prison sentence.

Italian news agencies LaPresse and ANSA quoted lawyer Fabrizio Ballarini as saying that Rudy Guede’s release, planned for 4 January, had been moved up a few weeks by a judge, and he was freed today.

Guede had already been granted permission to leave prison during the day to work while he served his sentence for the murder of 21-year-old Ms Kercher.

Officers discovered the body of the 21-year-old British foreign exchange student in her bedroom in Perugia on 2 November 2007.

The case in the university city of Perugia gained international notoriety after Ms Kercher’s American roommate, Amanda Knox, and Knox’s then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were placed under suspicion.

Both were initially convicted and imprisoned, but Italy’s highest court threw out the convictions in 2015 after a series of flip-flop decisions.

Guede was originally convicted in a fast-track trial procedure.

Rudy Hermann Guede was convicted of Ms Kercher’s murder in a 2008 fast-track trial procedure and is currently serving a 16-year sentence.

He denies murdering Ms Kercher.

‘No closure’ from the case

During an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour earlier this month, Knox described how she still has not got closure from the case despite it being 10 years since she was freed from prison.

“For me, there’s a sense of there not being closure in this case. I also know that for Meredith’s family, or at least I’ve heard as much, I don’t want to assume anything.

“But I know that there is this sense of non-closure and what I’ve learned from this experience, I’ve seen the same kind of mistakes are perpetuated over and over and over again in other cases.”

She added she now does advocacy work on behalf of people who were also wrongfully convicted as a way to address the “void” in the cultural awareness of the case and as “a way to honour the fact that something very real happened to Meredith”.

“Meredith was sexually assaulted and murdered. In no way should that ever have happened and there should be clarity about this.

“We should be focusing on the evidence, we should be focusing on the truth and we should have a sense of as much closure as one can have when the murderer hasn’t actually admitted to everything that happened,” she added.