Giulio Regi’s badly damaged body was found near Cairo, February 2016.
On Thursday, five years later, four Egyptian security officers are being tried in absentia for kidnapping, torturing, and murdering a student.
It is denied by the Egyptian authorities.
Regeni’s parents will be present at the Rome trial, to learn more about what happened to him.
While completing his PhD research at Cambridge, the 28-year old student was being held hostage. His body was found on the way to Alexandria a week later.
Egyptian officials repeatedly obstructed the Italian prosecution by inventing crazy stories behind the murder, such as a failed drug deal or a botched bank robbery.
The murder was attributed to the Egyptian national security service, according to Italian prosecutors.
According to them, Regeni was under surveillance for several weeks. He had also been reported by a Cairo street unionist as a spy. Rome prosecutors claimed that Regeni was punched and kicked before his death.
All four of the defendants, Gen Tariq Sabir and Col Usham Helmi, as well as Col Athar Kamel Mohammed Ibrahim Ibrahim, Maj Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Shif, deny that Regeni was kidnapped. Maj Sharif refutes the further allegations of conspiring inflict serious injuries and death.
It caused widespread outrage, and relations between Egypt and Italy were strained. The Italian ambassador was recalled.
Egypt dropped its investigation and top prosecutor Hamada Al-Sawi stated that there was not enough evidence. While Egyptian authorities admit Regeni had been monitored by and betrayed to his knowledge by others, the top prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi refused to disclose Italy’s home information.
Italy’s Ambassador is now back in Cairo, and President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi appears not to have been rebuffed.
Claudio Regeni and Paola deffendi, the parents of the student who was murdered, accuse Italy of betraying them by going back to Egypt as usual and selling two frigates under a large arms agreement.
Political opponents continue to vanish. The Commission for Rights and Freedoms of Egypt reported last year that it has documented over 2,700 forced disappearances in Egypt since 2015.
Alessandra Balerini, the lawyer representing the parents of the student who was murdered, stated earlier this year that Giulio Regeni had violated all human rights. As a result of the proceeding with the trial, the parents had the “well-founded expectation that at most the right to truth won’t be violated”.
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