A man convicted of the murder of Meredith Kercher in 2007 was freed from prison on Wednesday, three years after Italy’s highest court ordered his conviction overturned.
Rudy Guede, 31, was arrested in connection with the murder after Ms. Kercher’s partially decomposed body was found in a pool of blood in a Perugia apartment.
Mr. Guede was originally convicted of first-degree murder and sexual assault by an Italian court in 2009, which was later overturned and re-sealed by the high court.
On Wednesday, the court in Florence ordered that he be released, saying it had found no evidence that the murder was sexual in nature.
Italy’s opposition leader and one of Mr. Guede’s lawyers, Roberto Smeraldo, cited the case in arguing that the country’s legal system is “in a state of crisis.” He said the ruling was “unprecedented.”
“We have two prosecutors that try an entire country in our justice system,” he said. “We can’t support that.”
Marko Giampaolo, who worked with Mr. Guede at a nightclub called D’Uomo’s, said that he was frustrated with the ruling and compared it to “a dictatorship with judges that were all writing the same sentence.”
But Alessandro Sartori, one of the prosecutors in the case, told the Guardian that he felt the high court had “done what it had to do.”
“When we were convinced that this was a sexual attack, we were convinced,” he said. “This is not an excuse, but when you have only one victim’s account, you have to be convinced.”
He said he believed there was “a case that needs to be investigated.”