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Italy court upholds decision to suspend trial of 4 security officials charged with Regeni murder

July 18, 2022 at 12:02 pm

Candlelight procession for Italian student Giulio Regeni who was murdered in Egypt [Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency]

A court in Rome has upheld a previous decision to suspend the trial of four Egyptian security officials charged with the murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni.

Regeni was conducting research into independent trade unions in Egypt in 2016 when he was forcibly disappeared and tortured to death with his body later found by the side of a road.

A judge suspended the trial in October last year citing concerns that it was unclear whether or not the officials were formally aware that they were charged in the 2016 abduction, torture and killing of Regeni.

Under Italian law prosecutors must notify defendants that they have been indicted, however, Egyptian authorities would not pass on the addresses of the four security officials.

Rome’s Court of Cassation decided on Friday that Italy would uphold that decision, reports Madr Masr.

READ: Court hearing for reopening of Giulio Regeni trial begins in Rome

Italian prosecutors argued that Egyptian authorities have prevented Italy from contacting the suspects and pressed the court to continue the trial in absentia.

In May 2021 a judge ruled that the four suspects would have heard about the investigation due to media coverage of the case.

Italian sources have previously told Madr Masr that the investigation would not yield any results if Egyptian investigators did not cooperate and hand over the official addresses of the suspects.

In 2020 Egypt announced it was temporarily closing its investigation into Regeni’s murder with the prosecution saying it had evidence that a gang had stolen the student’s possessions and were responsible for his murder.

Shortly after Regeni’s brutal murder, Italy recalled its ambassador and stopped arms sales to Egypt but has since reinstated its ambassador and resumed weapons sales.

In June of this year Egypt and Italy were close to finalising a $3 billion arms deal including 24 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The sale of the aircraft is part of a wider deal between the two countries worth $10 billion, which if it goes through will be the largest arms deal in Egypt’s modern history.

READ: Facebook messages written by Giulio Regeni support that he was not a spy