Italy frees Meredith Kercher killer Rudy Guede

Guede has always maintained his innocence.

Rudy Guede, the only person definitively convicted of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, was released early on Tuesday, after serving 14 years of a 16-year jail sentence.

Guede, from the Ivory Coast, was 20 years old at the time of Kercher’s murder, a crime he has always denied, despite police finding his bloody fingerprints and DNA on the scene.

After the murder he fled to Germany where he was arrested three weeks later and extradited to Italy.

The 34-year-old was released by a surveillance court judge in Viterbo, north of Rome, where he has carried out community services over the last year.

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Two other suspects in the murder – Amanda Knox, an American student who shared the house with Kercher, and Raffaele Sollecito, her Italian boyfriend at the time – had their convictions overturned several years ago.

Knox and Sollecito were originally found guilty in 2009 of the murder and sexual assault of Kercher, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively.

They were then acquitted in a retrial in 2011, after four years in custody, on the grounds that the DNA evidence produced at the first trial was flawed.

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However in 2014 they were convicted again by an appeals court in Florence, which ruled that the multiple injuries inflicted on Kercher proved that Guede could not have acted alone.

In 2015 Italy’s highest court overturned the decision in a definitive ruling over what it said were “sensational failures” in the investigation that led to the pair’s convictions.