Demonstrators hold a picture of Italian student Giulio Regeni
Demonstrators hold a picture of Italian student Giulio Regeni

The Egyptian Public Prosecutor’s Office dropped the suspicion of five police officers in the National Security Sector in the 2016 murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo and deemed that there was no reason to institute a criminal case for not knowing the perpetrator.

In a statement published by the Public Prosecution on its official Facebook page on Wednesday, the Egyptian Attorney General, Hamada Al-Sawy, decided that “there is no point in instituting criminal proceedings in the case of the murder and detention of the victim, Giulio Regeni, and his temporary physical torture because the perpetrator is not known.”

The statement added that “the search authorities have been assigned to carry out the investigation to determine it, and exclude from the papers what was attributed to four officers and one police officer in the National Security Sector in that incident.”

The case of Regeni’s death dates back to January 2016, when he was kidnapped by unidentified people, at the time he was 28 years old, and days later, his body was found in a suburb of Cairo, bearing signs of torture and mutilation. He was preparing research on trade unions in Egypt, which is a thorny topic in the country, and the perpetrators were not found at the time.

Almost four years later, the Egyptian and Italian public prosecutors announced in a joint statement at the end of November that Egypt had decided to “temporarily close” the investigation file in the case of the 2016 murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo, in a process in which Rome suspects the involvement of security forces.

The Egyptian Public Prosecution announced in the statement that it “has reached firm evidence that the gang members committed the stealing of the belongings of the victim who was coerced. Among the victims there are foreigners. ”

In light of this, the Egyptian prosecution said in its statement on Wednesday that “there is no point in instituting a criminal case in the incident of stealing the movables of the victim under duress, who left traces of wounds on him due to their elimination with the death of the accused.”

Tense relations between the two countries

Rome had announced in the joint statement, “its intention to end investigations into the incident by suspicion of five individuals belonging to security services, of their individual actions.”
On the other hand, Cairo refrained from this suspicion, and the Egyptian Public Prosecution confirmed that it “does not support it, considering that it is based on unproven evidence.”
The parents of the Italian student Claudio and Paula Regeni announced that “the views of the public prosecutors have never been so far apart”, pointing out that Egypt caused them great suffering, shortly after the joint statement was issued.

The case caused great tension in relations between the two countries, and Italy has repeatedly accused the Egyptian authorities of not cooperating and misleading Italian investigators.
However, in June, Egypt bought two Italian frigates in a deal valued at 1.2 billion euros, in a sign that relations between the two countries have begun to return to normal.

Additional resources • AFP

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