ROME, Oct. 28, 2009 -- Rudy Guede, the "third man" accused in the murder of British exchange student Meredith Kercher, was back in court this week to withdraw his accusation against two fellow inmates who allegedly beat him up in prison.
Guede's lawyer cited his decision to withdraw accusations as proof of his "non-violent nature," according to Italy's ANSA news agency.
The court appearance comes about three weeks before Guede is scheduled to appeal his conviction and 30 year prison sentence in the Kercher murder, who was slain in Perugia, Italy, in November 2007.
Guede's appeal will be heard just days before defense lawyers and prosecutors will make their final arguments over charges American Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito also took part in Kercher's murder. Lawyers for Knox and Sollecito have suggested that Italian police already have the murderer in prison – Guede.
The 22-year-old Ivory Coast youth is accused of taking part in the murder along with American student Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffale Sollecito who are still on trial in Perugia for the same crime.
Guede's two aggressors were due to go on trial Viterbo on Tuesday but at the start of the hearing, Rudy Guede formally withdrew his accusation declaring that this was because the two inmates had told him they were sorry and had asked for forgiveness.
Guede, 22, who is from the Ivory Coast, had reportedly been punched and kicked during his daily open-air break in Viterbo prison in March. According to Guede's defense lawyers, Guede's only reaction to the assault was to make a formal complaint.
Although Rudy Guede's name has come up infrequently in recent months as the current trial focused on Knox and Sollecito, it will hit the news again soon in Italy when his appeal case for the Kercher murder is slated to open on November 18th in Perugia. His conduct while serving his sentence in jail could influence future court decisions.
Amanda Knox Trial to Resume on Nov. 20
"Rudy did not react to the blows he received," his lawyers told the ANSA news agency, "and this shows that he has an absolutely non-violent nature. "
Knox and Sollecito's trial began on Jan. 16 of this year. The sentence in their trial is finally expected to be reached in the early part of December.