A latest high-profile instance of perceived laxity in Greece’s penal code – which was recently stiffened – came on Friday with the release of a 27-year-old foreign national arrested for the alleged rape and stabbing of a woman in central Athens late last month.

According to the report on Mega Channel’s “Live News” program, the suspect, identified as a Palestinian man, was freed from custody on Friday after his arrest days earlier – and on the condition of appearing twice a month at a local police precinct and – in an ironic twist – from leaving the country. No information was released on whether he was in the country legally, or had illegally entered and then requested some type of asylum.

His conditional release was ostensibly due to a legal “loophole”, according to the Live News report, which cited judicial sources who said that the 33-year-old victim initially told police that she didn’t know or recognize the perpetrator who savagely beat, stabbed and raped her before leaving her chained on a bed. She was located by a passing motorcycle police unit by chance in an abandoned building where she was restrained for nearly 24 hours.

Based on the report aired by Mega, Greek Police (EL.AS) later notified judicial authorities that the woman identified the Palestinian as her attacker. However, due to the fact  she was hospitalized she couldn’t provide a written statement.

The same judicial sources said that without the victim’s statement and given that the suspect denied any involvement in the case he could not, based on current law, be held in remand Instead, he was granted conditional bail.

The prospect of conducting a rapid and preliminary DNA test to at least exclude him as the perpetrator is apparently another oversight in Greece’s 21st century penal code.

Initially, authorities this week reported that the man was accused of raping and stabbing the woman, also a foreign national from a Balkan country, inside the abandoned building near central Omonia square, one of the grittier parts of the Greek capital.

The victim was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, with a deep stab wound, bone fractures and contusions all over her body.

The suspect was arrested on Monday in the same district while walking with a knife in his hands. Other media reports quoting shopkeepers in the vicinity claim the alleged perpetrator often slept rough around Omonia square’s alleys.

An ongoing debate in the country stems increasing media and social media attention to repeated assaults, often fatal, on women, both in terms of domestic violence and stranger-on-stranger attacks.