The Court of Cassation in Rome has upheld a ruling that the trial in absentia of four Egyptian security officers accused of the 2016 kidnapping and murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni should not proceed, according to the Associated Press. The court said the reason was the Egyptian government’s lack of cooperation. The Italian Ministry of Justice had issued a memorandum last April in which it said that the Egyptian authorities did not show any cooperation at all in notifying the four defendants of their indictment. It also described the Egyptian government’s claim that it could not find the accused as “completely deceitful”.
The accused are Major General Tariq Saber, a senior official in the National Security Agency at the time of Regeni’s death, Major Magdy Sharif, who was responsible for the security team that put Regeni under surveillance, Colonel Hisham Helmy, who was responsible for the neighbourhood in which Regeni was living, and Colonel Aser Kamal, who was the head of the Cairo Facility Investigation at the time.
Regeni was in Cairo in 2016 to conduct fieldwork on independent trade unions for a PhD he was doing at Cambridge University. He disappeared from a metro station on January 25, and his body was found on the side of a highway on the outskirts of the city on February 3. An autopsy later revealed several clear signs of brutal torture.