Meredith Kercher’s killer has said he ‘just wants to be forgotten’ after finishing his sentence for murdering the British student two years early.
Rudy Guede, 34, was formally released on Tuesday, 14 years after the grisly murder and sexual assault of 21-year-old Kercher in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007.
Ivorian-born Guede was convicted in 2008 for the murder that also saw Kercher’s American flatmate, Amanda Knox, jailed but then sensationally acquitted alongside her Italian boyfriend at the time, Raffaele Sollecito.
Guede was found guilty after his DNA was discovered on Kercher’s body despite his claims that he was in the bathroom listening to music when she was killed.
Those who know the killer say he is a model prisoner who has put the past behind him and spends his days studying for his master’s degree.
‘Unfortunately there are many media outlets and newspapers that want to interview Rudy. I say “unfortunately” because Rudy is not a star and after 14 years he just wants to be forgotten,’ said Claudio Mariani, a professor of criminology who helped with Guede’s rehabilitation.
‘There is nothing more to add to this story apart from the fact that the life of a young British woman was cut short and from her family we learned dignity and the value of silence.’
Rudy Guede, 34, was due to be formally released on January 4 but his lawyer on Tuesday confirmed his early release had been granted for good behaviour (pictured: Guede after a court hearing in Perugia September 16, 2008)
Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was killed just two months after moving to Italy for a study abroad programme at Perugia’s prestigious university (pictured: in an undated photo released in November 2007)
Amanda Knox appearing as a TV guest on ‘Good Morning America,’ Thursday, September 29, 2016
Guede has been living outside jail on probation in the town of Viterbo since last year after his sentence was reduced for good behaviour.
‘It’s the conclusive moment of a very sad affair,’ Fabrizio Ballarini, his lawyer, told the Italian press. ‘First thoughts must to go the victim and her family. Rudy has undergone an excellent course of reeducation.’
Guede is studying for a master’s in historical sciences at Roma Tre university and Ballarini previously told judges of his ‘high level of social integration’ and ‘irreproachable conduct.’
He was first offered day release from Viterbo prison in 2017 and he started working as a researcher and librarian at the Centre for Crime, Judicial and Sociological studies.
He lost an appeal to have his case overturned but has won the support of local activists who have helped him to reintegrate.
Guede even set up a chess tournament for the residents of Viterbo.
Kercher, from Coulsdon, Surrey, was killed just two months after moving to Italy for a study abroad programme at Perugia’s prestigious university.
Her body was found in her bedroom, partially undressed, with multiple stab wounds.
Guede’s fingerprints were found at the scene along with a palm print in blood belonging to him.
He admitted to having been at the apartment but has always denied killing or sexually assaulting Kercher.
Knox and Sollecito both spent four years in prison after their convictions. Knox was also convicted of defamation for wrongly accusing Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, of the murder. Pictured: Knox and Sollecito in 2007
Knox being escorted into court on September 26, 2008
He said he had gone into a ‘state of shock’ after finding her dead after he returned from the bathroom.
Following the murder, Guede fled by train to Germany where he was arrested days later.
He was charged with her murder and sexual assault and handed down a 30-year sentence, which was later cut to 16 years by an appeals court.
Knox and Sollecito both spent four years in prison after their convictions. Knox was also convicted of defamation for wrongly accusing Patrick Lumumba, a bar owner, of the murder.
Guede pictured being escorted by Italian penitentiary police officers as he leaves Perugia’s court after a hearing on September 26, 2008
Lumumba spent two weeks in jail, only being released when someone came forward with an alibi.
Knox and Sollecito were acquitted in 2011 only to be convicted again in 2014 by a Florentine appeals court.
The appeals court ruled that the injuries inflicted on Kercher’s body could not have been inflicted by Guede alone.
However in 2015, Italy’s highest court overturned the decision in a final ruling, saying Knox and Sollecito’s convictions were the result of ‘stunning flaws’ in the investigation.