Italian parliamentary panel accuses Egyptian security of Regeni murder

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An Italian parliamentary panel accused the Egyptian security apparatus of the kidnapping, torturing and murder of student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.

Regeni, a postgraduate student at Britain’s Cambridge University, disappeared in the Egyptian capital in January that year. His body was found almost a week later and a post-mortem examination showed he had been tortured before his death.

“Responsibility…lies directly with the security apparatus of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in particular with officials of the National Security Agency (NSA),” the final report of the cross-party parliamentary committee said.

There was no immediate response to a Reuters request for comment from Egyptian authorities.

Egyptian police and officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Regeni’s disappearance and killing. The suspects, who face trial in absentia in an Italian court, have never responded publicly to the accusations.

Italy began the trial against four senior members of Egypt’s security services over their suspected role in the case, but proceedings were suspended in October because of concerns the men might not know they had been charged.

That decision means the case will now return to a preliminary court which must decide whether to make a new effort to locate the four officials and hand them their writs.

Italian prosecutors have accused Egypt of refusing to reveal the men’s whereabouts and of undermining their investigation.

“The halt in the (trial) proceedings is purely procedural and in no way prejudices the conclusions reached by the prosecutors, which this panel fully shares,” the parliamentary panel’s report said.

The Italian prosecutors say Major Magdi Sharif, from Egypt’s General Intelligence, Major General Tarek Sabir, the former head of state security, police Colonel Hisham Helmy and Colonel Ather Kamal, a former head of investigations in Cairo city, were responsible for the “aggravated kidnapping” of Regeni.

Sharif has also been accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

“It is time to remind Egypt of its responsibilities as a state, which are very clear and significant regarding the fate of Giulio Regeni and go beyond the penally significant responsibilities of its agents,” the panel said.

Photo – People during a march and torchlight procession in memory of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, who was abducted, tortured and murdered in Cairo (Egypt), in Bologna, Italy. EPA-EFE/GIORGIO BENVENUTI

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