Extradition of Meredith murder suspect nears
30 November 2007, Berlin - The handover to Italy of a suspect in the Meredith Kercher sex murder case was delayed Friday by legal wrangling with Germany, but a prosecutor said an extradition order was possible on Monday.
30 November 2007
Berlin - The handover to Italy of a suspect in the Meredith Kercher sex murder case was delayed Friday by legal wrangling with Germany, but a prosecutor said an extradition order was possible on Monday.
Ivory Coast-born Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, who is alleged to have been with Kercher on the night she was killed in Perugia, was arrested for fare-dodging on a German train more that a week ago and recognized as the man sought under an international warrant.
Prosecutor Norbert Weise said in a statement in the western city of Koblenz that Germany was still seeking assurances that the suspect could apply for German-style parole in later years if he were to be jailed for life.
German law bans extradition to countries which do not allow first parole hearings within 20 years.
Guede has agreed to be extradited, but Weise said the Italian legal statement so far had not been sufficient for German law officers to authorize extradition.
The Germans understood the existing Italian assurance to mean parole could not be sought before 26 years of life had been served in jail, though there were other provisions for amnesties and partial remission of sentence in Italy.
Italy has been asked to send an extra statement, explaining those opportunities to see if they satisfied the German prescription, Weise said.
A prosecutions spokesman said the Italian counterparts had telephoned and promised to clarify the Italian legal provisions in the course of Friday. If this happened, it was possible that an extradition order could be issued on Monday.
Guede is being detained at a youth prison at Schifferstadt in the southern part of Rhineland Palatinate state.
The spokesman said no request has been received from Italian investigators to interview him, but the suspect's statement to a German magistrate has been passed on to the Italian authorities.
Guede is accused of taking part in a gang-rape of London woman Kercher, 21, late on November 1 at the apartment she shared in Perugia with US student Amanda Knox, with the attackers then killing her with a knife to the throat.
Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Rafaelle Sollecito, are also in custody.
Kercher's half-naked body was found the next day. The mystery of how she died has attracted huge media attention in Britain, Italy and the United States.
Subject: German news