Trial begins for brutal murder of student Giulio Regeni, tortured by Egyptian police

Updated Thursday, October 14, 2021 –
11:29

The four agents of the Egyptian secret services accused of kidnapping and murder will not be present

Claudio Reni, father of student Giulio Regeni, arrives at the trial in Rome.REUTERS

Trial begins in Italy for the murder of Giulio Regeni, the 28-year-old student killed in 2016 in Egypt. Regeni, who was pursuing a doctorate at Cambridge University in the UK, was in Cairo conducting research on Egyptian trade unions. His body was found mutilated in February 2016, days after his disappearance, on a road near Cairo, with signs of torture. The autopsy revealed horrific torture, multiple wounds, and several broken bones., suggesting that he had been beaten with “fists, clubs, and hammers.” A letter “X” was found on his forehead and on his hand. All of her nails had been pulled

On the opening day of the trial in rebellion against General Tariq Sabir, and officers Athal Kamel Mohamed Ibrahim, Uhsan Helmi and Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif, accused of kidnapping, torture and murder, preliminary and crucial questions will be examined, such as the reasons why Egyptian intelligence agents are not present in the courtroom. The four suspects have not been officially informed of the opening of the process, as required by law. A “compendium of evidence” has been constructed against him, with testimonies and documents that must be verified during the trial. Until now, Egypt you have refused to provide your data and in a preliminary hearing last May, a judge ruled that thanks to the media, the agents can be considered to have been notified. That decision can be ratified or annulled this Thursday.

Giulio’s family will be in the courtroom, assisted by attorney Alessandra Ballerini, who has followed the progress and difficulties of the investigation over the years. Paola and Claudio Regeni have already announced that they will call to declare the presidents of the Council who have succeeded each other since 2016, the year of the assassination. There are four ‘premiers’, starting with Matteo Renzi that I left the position to Paolo Gentiloni in December 2016, followed by Giuseppe Conte and his own Mario Draghi. The list of witnesses also includes the respective foreign ministers and undersecretaries who were responsible for the intelligence services.

The right to the truth

Regeni’s family hopes that the trial is finally the moment of truth, given the many shadows that still surround the story. He intends to call Egyptian leaders, including Al Sisi and his interior ministers, to testify. It remains to be seen whether Cairo leaders, historically reluctant to collaborate with Italian investigators, will want to be available for examination before the judges.

“Paola and Claudio often say that in Giulio all human rights have been violated. As of today, we have the well-founded hope that at least the right to the truth will not be violated. It took us 64 months, but it is a good starting point, “said Ballerini on May 25, the day in which the preliminary hearing judge Pier Luigi Balestrieri began a not obvious trial, structuring the set of clues compiled by prosecutor Sergio Colaiocco and Attorney General Michele Prestipino. Prestipino assured in December before a parliamentary committee that he had “significant evidence“which involved the four Egyptian officers in the assassination, a charge rejected by Egypt.

The researchers consider that Regeni was kidnapped and killed for being mistaken for a foreign spy. The reasons for Regeni’s kidnapping could be explained by the desire to “intimidate and pressure the victim” to obtain a series of sensitive information. In the last few days, in Cambridge, where a commission is carrying out a mission to meet with the academic authorities and the professors of the young researcher, Giulio’s tutor, Maha Abdelrahaman, spoke. His life, he admitted, was turned upside down by this murder.


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