Italian prosecutors prepare charges in murder case of student in Cairo

The Egyptian security officials have 20 days to respond before Italian prosecutors ask a judge to charge them in relation to the 2016 murder of Giulio Regeni.

al-monitor Activists of human rights organization Amnesty International take part in a demonstration in Piazza Castello in Turin on Jan. 25, 2020, to mark the fourth anniversary of the disappearance of Italian student Giulio Regeni. Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge University Ph.D. student from Italy, disappeared on Jan. 25, 2016, in central Cairo, as police were out in force in anticipation of protests that day. His body was later found by the side of a road bearing signs of torture. He had been researching street vendor trade unions, an especially sensitive political issue in Egypt, with successive governments fearing strikes and unrest. Egypt has forcefully denied that its police were involved in his abduction. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images.

Topics covered

human rights, trade unions, cairo, murder, giulio regeni, italy

Dec 10, 2020

Italian prosecutors have given Egyptian suspects in the murder of an Italian student just under three weeks to respond to allegations or face possible legal action.

The prosecutors said on Thursday they identified four members of Egyptian security services who are suspects in the 2016 murder of Giulio Regeni in Cairo. The suspects allegedly took part in Regeni’s kidnapping. One of them is a major in Egypt’s intelligence service and is also accused of conspiracy to commit murder. The individuals have 20 days to respond to the allegations or the prosecutors will ask a judge to indict them, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Regeni was an Italian student at Cambridge University who was found dead in Cairo in 2016, his body mangled and not fully clothed. Regeni was studying trade unions in the country. Accusations began to swirl that Egyptian security officials were involved in his death. Italy named five suspected Egyptian officials in the case in 2018.

The issue of trade unions is a sensitive one for the Egyptian government. The state tried to bring labor organizations under its control after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi assumed power in 2016. Sisi’s government has also been accused of various human rights abuses.

Regeni’s death has worsened relations between Egypt and Italy. That being said, Egypt and Italy signed an arms deal in June. Some Italian political parties opposed the move.

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