Egypt’s officers are being tried in Italy for the murder of a student.
The trial of four Egyptian security agents for the gruesome killing of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo five years ago began in Rome in his absence on Thursday.
In the case, which has provoked indignation in Italy and damaged diplomatic relations with Egypt, the officers are accused of kidnapping, conspiracy to murder, and severe bodily harm.
Regeni’s mother bent her head when she entered for the hearing with his father and Giulio’s sister in the bunker chamber of the Rebibbia jail, which is frequently used for mafia cases.
Regeni, 28, was taken in January 2016 while conducting research for a doctorate at the University of Cambridge. His body was finally discovered dumped on the outskirts of Cairo, with considerable evidence of torture.
The commencement of the trial was hailed by Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio as “a result unhoped for in the weeks following the discovery of Giulio’s body,” when the case appeared hopeless.
In a symbolic show of solidarity for the Regeni family, Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office announced late Wednesday that the government would join the case as a civil plaintiff.
However, the trial could be called off before it even begins.
The court will have to decide if the four suspects are aware of the legal actions against them, as the law requires. Egypt has declined to share its contact information.
At a preliminary hearing in May, a judge decided that media coverage meant the four would have heard about the inquiry. On Thursday, the court might uphold or reverse that ruling.
General Tariq Sabir, Colonels Athar Kamel and Uhsam Helmi, and Major Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif, who is suspected of carrying out the killing, are listed in court documents.
Regeni was allegedly kidnapped and slain after being mistaken for a foreign spy, according to investigators.
In December, prosecutor Michele Prestipino told a parliamentary committee that there were “elements of strong proof” implicating Egyptian officers in the murder, which Egypt denied.
Sharif, according to his squad, utilized informants to track down Regeni, arrested him, and subjected him to “severe bodily agony.” Regeni’s hands and feet were damaged, and his teeth were broken. He died as a result of asphyxia.
According to media reports, Regeni’s legal team has demanded that all Italian prime ministers and foreign ministers, as well as the country’s secret service heads, be brought as witnesses since 2016.
However, Tranquillino Sarno, a court-appointed defense counsel, told AFP that the trial will “stand or fall” on whether. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.