NewsLast act in the Meredith Kercher case

Last act in the Meredith Kercher case

Rudy Guede, the only person convicted after the murder in Perugia, is free again.

Regarding the early release from prison of Rudy Guede, the “Corriere della Sera” wrote on Wednesday that it was “a case of exemplary purification”. It’s not entirely clear whether this was meant seriously or ironically. In any case, the 34-year-old now leads an exemplary life: since December he has been doing social services at Caritas in Viterbo near Rome. He helps the pastor at masses, distributes food during the feeding of the poor, catalogs books in the library. Previously, Guede had completed a distance learning course in history and international cooperation in prison – with top marks. Thanks to good conduct, he was released from the remainder of the 45-day sentence on Tuesday – he is free.

No alibi, no motive

Guede’s early release is the final act of a judicial drama that made headlines well beyond Italy’s borders for years. It started with a brutal murder on Halloween night 2007: Meredith Kercher, a 21-year-old British exchange student from Leeds, was found half-naked and dead in her student apartment in Perugia. She had previously been raped. The suspicion quickly fell on Meredith’s roommate and fellow student Amanda Knox from Seattle, her boyfriend at the time Raffaele Sollecito and the unskilled worker Rudy Guede. The investigators suspected that there had been group sex in the apartment, which got out of control in the drug intoxication.

After the murder, Guede fled to Germany, where he was arrested. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison for jointly committed murder and rape. Because of a partial confession he had received a penalty discount: Since his DNA was found on Kercher’s body, he had confessed to the sex crime, but denied having committed the murder. Instead, he accused Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito of stabbing Kercher. He stays that way to this day. The former American-Italian lovers declared that they had nothing to do with the murder.

Because of numerous inconsistencies in their statements, the investigators did not believe them – so began a judicial odyssey for the “angel with the eyes of ice,” as Knox was called in the media, and for her friend. In 2009 they were sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison, and acquitted two years later. The acquittal was promptly annulled because of formal errors, and Knox and Sollecito were sentenced to 28 and 25 years in a new trial. In 2015 the nightmare came to an end: Both were definitely acquitted by the highest Italian court – after four years in prison. It was an acquittal “for lack of evidence” in a purely circumstantial trial.

Amanda Knox still angry

Meredith Kercher’s parents still do not know what happened that night in 2007 and who killed their daughter. There is no confession, no alibi, no motive. According to the Roman Court of Cassation, “blatant sloppiness and mistakes” had occurred during the proceedings. The parents’ only bitter certainty now is that no one is in jail for the murder of their daughter. The Kercher family’s lawyer commented on the early release of Guede: “In view of the tragedy of what has happened and with regard to concrete and effective justice, it must be said that the sentence that Guede served was very short.”

Amanda Knox, now a mother herself, said in an interview with the Times on Tuesday that, despite the acquittal, she still had to fight for her reputation. “The murder trial had become an entertainment show that had to go on, even without evidence.” She was still angry and waiting for an apology.

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