Rudy Guede, serving 16 years of a reduced ‘fast track’ sentence for the aggravated murder of Leeds University student Meredith Kercher, 21, in November 2007, will find out today (21 February) whether his appeal to the Italian Supreme court for a review of his case, will be successful. This is an appeal from the lower Florence Appeal Court who rejected the application last year.

‘The wounds of the Kerchers are being reopened’

The Kercher family’s attorney, Francesco Maresca, reacted angrily, and told ANSA, - "Once again the wounds of the family of Meredith Kercher are being reopened, when they see the media speaking of their tragedy, the loss of a daughter and a sister"

The verdict is expected today

ANSA news agency reports that Guede’s barristers, Tommaso Pietrocarlo and Monica Grossi will be examined today in a public hearing at the Cassazione Fifth Chambers.

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The outcome is expected by the evening. Under Italian procedures, judges are expected to come to a ruling as of the time of the hearing.

State prosecutors had made a cross-application to have the hearing privately in chambers (in camera), for the Court to uphold the verdict of the Florence Appeal Court and to strike out the application for a review.

Guede’s counsel has told the Italian press that they have succeeded in obtaining a hearing in an open court.

What the appeal is about

The appeal is on the grounds of "non-compliance" of the rules of procedure and failure to acquire "fundamental elements" of the Court decision Guede is appealing against, on the grounds of ‘internal contradictions’. The alleged contradictions are that in annulling the convictions of the other two defendants in the murder case, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, the Fifth Chamber’s written reasons come into conflict with those in Guede’s. In Italy, Judge's decisions must be legally consistent with each other.

The facts found by Judge Paolo Micheli, at Guede’s trial include:

  • Guede did not wield the murder weapon,
  • He had had no meaningful prior contact with Meredith, as Guede had claimed in his testimony.
  • Therefore, he was not invited to the cottage or let in by Meredith, nor had any consensual contact with her.
  • The burglary mise en scène was a second stage of the crime after the murder.
  • It, therefore, followed that Knox let in Guede to the murder cottage.
  • The crime was sexually motivated, and not one motivated by theft.
  • Guede did not steal the rent money or the phones.
  • There were multiple assailants.
  • Guede was guilty of aggravated murder because of his complicity in the attack and failure to stop ‘as soon as the knives came out’.
  • There was complicity with others: “Above all if the certain facts include the consequent outline of that supposed ‘unknown’ (the presence of the three at the scene of the crime) they are abundant, and all abundantly proven”. (– Micheli)

Guede claims there are ‘internal contradictions’ with the Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito rulings

In the Supreme Court ruling in which Knox and Sollecito had their convictions annulled, in March 2015.

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Judges Paulo Antonio Bruno and Gennaro Marasca confirmed the burglary was faked, that the murder had not been committed by a random burglar, as the nature of the attack was more in keeping with ‘a serial killer’, as they put it. It also ruled that there were ‘multiple attackers’. In addition, it ruled that Knox ‘had covered up for Guede’ when she told police Patrick Lumumba was the culprit.

The legal issues facing the Supreme Court today

The crux of Guede’s appeal for a review of his case is that it is a legal absurdity to find as a fact he did not commit the actual killing, but that the police are not looking for anybody else as ‘the multiple attackers’, despite Knox and Sollecito walking free notwithstanding the evidence of the presence of either or both of them at the scene (the ‘unknown others‘) ‘they are abundant, and all abundantly proven’.

Marasca & Bruno proclaimed that the two main reasons for the annulled convictions of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were because of ‘a flawed investigation’ and ‘undue press influence’.

The pair were released because of 'insufficient evidence'. It raises the question, if it was ‘flawed’ for Knox and Sollecito, then would not the same state of affairs apply to Guede?

Guede’s legal team would need to convince the Supreme Court judges the contradictions if agreed, are material, and if so, would there be any reasonable prospect of success in overturning Guede’s conviction, even if there was a review?

Rudy Guede has a new 'squeaky clean' image

Guede is currently serving his sentence at Viterbo prison and gets day release to carry out a one-year internship with the Center for Criminological Studies (CSC) of the same city of Lazio, where he is cataloguing bilbiological research library items. The work is related to his recent graduation in Historical Studies while in prison.

Guede has also been moved to a general wing of the prison and mixing with other inmates, from being in ‘special category’ due to the nature of his crime.

Guede is due to be released in 2022. However, it is reported that his legal team is requesting an early release, which could see the 30-year old ‘released by the year-end’ on a part-time basis.