Trial Begins for Egyptian Officials Accused of Kidnapping and Murdering Italian Student in Cairo

The trial of four Egyptian security agents accused of kidnapping and murdering Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo has commenced in Italy. Giulio Regeni, a postgraduate student at Cambridge University, disappeared in January 2016 while conducting research on union activities among street vendors for his doctoral thesis. His body was discovered a month later on the side of a highway near Cairo, showing signs of torture including cigarette burns, broken teeth, and fractured bones.

Regeni’s parents, Paola and Giulio Regeni, attended the opening court session, expressing their hope for justice with a banner that read “Truth for Giulio Regeni.” The family’s lawyer, Alessandra Ballerini, stated that they had been waiting for this moment for eight years and expressed their desire to see those responsible held accountable for the immense pain inflicted on Giulio.

Italian prosecutors believe that four Egyptian officials were involved in Regeni’s killing, but have been unable to locate them to issue summons. As a result, the officials are being tried in absentia. This trial marks the second attempt to hold them accountable, as the initial proceedings in October 2021 were suspended due to concerns over the legitimacy of the prosecution. However, Italy’s top court overturned this decision in September of the following year, emphasizing that Egypt’s lack of cooperation should not hinder the trial.

During the recent hearing, Tranquillino Sarno, a public defender for one of the accused, requested continued efforts to contact the officials and ensure that Egyptian authorities are officially informed of the trial. Egypt has denied allegations of non-cooperation, stating that they had collaborated with Italian officials and concluded that Regeni’s killers remain unidentified. Egyptian police initially claimed that Regeni was murdered by gangsters posing as police officers, but this theory was dismissed by Egyptian judges.

Author: CrimeDoor

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