Rudy Guede, the only person definitively convicted of murdering British exchange student Meredith Kercher in the Italian city of Perugia in 2007, has been freed.
Guede, 34, was initially jailed for 30 years after a fast-track trial held behind closed doors. That sentence was reduced to 16 on appeal, which he has completed 13 years of. His sentence was due to end in January next year, but he has been granted early release due to good behaviour.
He has always denied killing Kercher, a 21-year-old student from south-east England who was murdered in her home in central Italy.
Her body was found in her bedroom, partly dressed with multiple stab wounds and having been sexually assaulted.
Guede’s fast-track trial was in 2008; the following year, Amanda Knox, Kercher’s US housemate, and Raffaele Sollecito, Knox’s Italian boyfriend, were also convicted.
But Knox and Sollecito had their convictions overturned after a number of appeals and retrials, with both maintaining their innocence, after spending almost four years in prison.
Days after the killing, Guede had left Perugia and travelled to Germany. Extradited back to Italy, he was convicted of murder after his DNA was found at the scene.
Guede has denied killing Kercher, and has been serving his sentence as community service since December 2020, meaning that he did not have to return to prison at night.
"My initial thoughts are with Meredith Kercher's family who've been confronted by this painful affair,” Guede’s lawyer Fabrizio Ballarini told Italian media.