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Suspect in killing British student not to fight extradition from Germany

A man suspected of sexual assault and killing a British student in Italy insisted that he was innocent in a German court, but said he would not fight his extradition.

Rudy Hermann Guede, 20, was brought before a judge, who ordered him held during extradition proceedings, Koblenz prosecutor Karl-Rudolf Winkler said.

"He explained that he is innocent and had nothing to do with the crime," Winkler said, adding that the judge noted his statement and would pass it on to Italian authorities.

Italy has issued an international warrant for Guede's arrest, and prosecutors now need to go through the formal process of getting the extradition authorized. He should be sent to Italy within about a week, Winkler said.

Guede, a native of the Ivory Coast, was stopped for riding on a train without a ticket and arrested Tuesday in the western German city of Mainz.

Though there was some initial confusion about his identity, Winkler said Germany's Federal Crime Office has confirmed the man arrested was Guede.

Guede was sought in the sexual assault and fatal stabbing of 21-year-old Meredith Kercher in the house she shared with University of Washington student Amanda Marie Knox in Perugia.

Knox and her Italian boyfriend are currently jailed in connection with the slaying. Both have denied any wrongdoing.

The autopsy found that Kercher likely died slowly from a stab wound to her neck. She was found on Nov. 2 in her blood-spattered bedroom.

Italian authorities have said they found Knox's DNA on the handle of a knife believed to have been the murder weapon and Kercher's on the blade. The knife came from the kitchen of a house where Knox's Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, lived in Perugia.

The search for Guede was launched after bloody fingerprints were found on Kercher's pillow and on toilet paper in the house. The prints did not match Knox or Sollecito.

Italian police traced Guede to Germany through a friend who established Internet contact with the suspect Monday night and chatted with him for hours, Italian investigators said.

Winkler said German authorities were concentrating strictly on Guede's extradition, rather than the crime investigation, so would not be questioning Guede about the killing.

A hearing is scheduled Nov. 30 in Perugia to hear defense requests to release Knox and Sollecito from jail.

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