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Four Egyptian officers face Italian trial over Regeni murder

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  • Student Regeni discovered useless in 2016, had been tortured
  • Egyptian officers, police deny any involvement in killing
  • Italy says trial essential to uphold rule of legislation

ROME, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Four senior members of Egypt’s safety companies will stand trial in absentia in an Italian court docket on Thursday over their suspected function within the disappearance and murder of pupil Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.

Italy hopes the trial will make clear a killing that shocked the nation and strained ties with Egypt, which has repeatedly denied that its officers had something to do with Regeni’s brutal demise.

“The search for the truth has always been, and will continue to be, a fundamental goal in our relations with Egypt,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio advised a parliamentary fee of inquiry into the case final month.

“Achieving a definitive picture, in the framework of a fair trial, will not bring Giulio back to his parents, but it will reaffirm the strength of justice, transparency and the rule of law in which he believed.”

A postgraduate pupil at Britain’s Cambridge University, Regeni disappeared within the Egyptian capital in January 2016. His physique was discovered virtually every week later and a autopsy examination confirmed he had been extensively tortured earlier than his demise.

Italian and Egyptian prosecutors investigated the case collectively, however the two sides later fell out and got here to very totally different conclusions.

‘AGGRAVATED KIDNAPPING’

Italian prosecutors say Major Magdi Sharif, from Egypt’s General Intelligence, Major General Tarek Sabir, the previous head of state safety, police Colonel Hisham Helmy and Colonel Ather Kamal, a former head of investigations in Cairo metropolis, have been accountable for the “aggravated kidnapping” of Regeni.

Sharif has additionally been accused of “conspiracy to commit aggravated murder”.

The suspects have by no means responded publicly to the accusations and Egyptian police and officers have repeatedly denied any involvement in Regeni’s disappearance and killing. learn extra

Court-appointed defence attorneys say the trial shouldn’t be held as a result of it isn’t sure that any of the suspects know in regards to the proceedings. However, a decide overruled their objection at a preliminary listening to in May, saying news of the investigation would have reached them regardless.

Regeni had been in Cairo to analysis Egypt’s impartial unions for his doctoral thesis. Associates say he was additionally within the long-standing domination of Egypt’s economic system by the state and navy. Both topics are delicate in Egypt.

Prosecutors say they’ve proof displaying that Sharif bought informants to comply with Regeni and ultimately had him arrested in a Cairo metro station. The cost sheet says Sharif, and different, unidentified Egyptian officers, then tortured Regeni over a number of days, inflicting him “acute physical suffering”.

Egyptian authorities initially stated Regeni died in a street accident. They later stated he was the sufferer of a kidnapping by gangsters who have been subsequently caught and killed by police.

It will not be clear how lengthy the trial will final. The authorities has stated it is going to search to extradict anybody convicted within the case.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Alex Richardson

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A man holds a placard during a vigil to commemorate Giulio Regeni, who was found murdered in Cairo, in downtown Rome, Italy January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

Demonstrators from Amnesty International hold placards outside the Egyptian embassy in support of Giulio Regeni, who was found murdered in Cairo two years ago, in London, Britain, February 2, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/File Photo

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