Egypt hands documents to Italy refuting role of police officers in Regeni's murder

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Tuesday 15 Jun 2021

The Egyptian general prosecutor’s office said in December it will temporarily not pursue a criminal lawsuit in the case due to the lack of knowledge of the perpetrator of the crime.

Giulio Regeni
Giulio Regeni (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

Egypt’s Public Prosecution said on Tuesday it handed documents to the Italian side that refute alleged involvement of Egyptian officers in the disappearance and murder of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016 amid an ongoing trial in Rome against the suspected security members.

Egypt’s top prosecutor Hamada Al-Sawy met and handed Italy’s Ambassador to Cairo Giampaolo Cantini two official copies of the prosecution’s dismissal of a criminal case over the killing of the Italian student, a statement by his office said.

In December, the Egyptian prosecution said it will temporarily not pursue a criminal lawsuit in the case due to the lack of knowledge of the perpetrator of the crime.

It also announced it was ruling out from the case the accusations raised by Italy's prosecutor-general against four police officers and a policeman in Egypt’s national security of involvement in the murder.

Tuesday’s statement said the Italian ambassador also received during the meeting Kenyan judicial authorities' response that refutes reports of a Kenyan officer overhearing a story by an Egyptian police officer on Regeni’s abduction during a security conference in Nairobi.

Al-Sawy asserted the need of presenting all the documents with the Italian court overseeing the case as they refute any alleged involvement of Egyptian officers in the murder.

Tuesday's meeting comes few weeks after an Italian judge ordered four Egyptian officers to stand trial for suspected role in Regeni’s murder, saying there was sufficient evidence to indict the officers, with their trial set to begin on October 14.

There was no comment by Egyptian authorities at the time.

Egyptian and Italian authorities have been cooperating in the ongoing investigation into the murder of the 28-year-old Italian student, who was conducting research on independent trade unions when he went missing on the fifth anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 Revolution.

He was found dead 10 days later bearing signs of torture.

However, the cooperation faltered in 2019 after Italy accused Egypt of not taking any steps or overtures following Rome's decision to place five members of Egyptian security forces under official investigation for their alleged involvement in the torture and murder of the slain student.

Regeni's killing also led to a brief diplomatic rift in 2016, when Italy's ambassador to Cairo was recalled in protest of Egypt's handling of the case. The ambassador returned in September 2017.

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