Italy's highest court of appeal has ruled that stealing small amounts of food to stave off hunger is not a crime.
The order was made after judges overruled a theft conviction against a said man Roman Ostriakov who stole cheese and sausages worth €4.07 (£3; $4.50) from a supermarket.
When Mr Ostriakov attempted to leave a Genoa supermarket with two pieces of cheese and a packet of sausages in his pocket but paid only for breadsticks. In 2015, Mr Ostriakov was convicted of theft and sentenced to six months in jail and a €100 fine.
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In times of economic hardship, the court of cassation’s judgement “reminds everyone that in a civilised country not even the worst of men should starve”. Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation, which reviews only the application of the law and not the facts of the case, on Monday made a final and definitive ruling overturning the conviction entirely.