Four Egyptian officers back on trial in Italy over Regeni murder

By Thomson Reuters Feb 20, 2024 | 3:18 AM

(Adds dropped word “not” in paragraph three)

ROME (Reuters) -The trial of four Egyptian security agents accused of kidnapping and murdering an Italian student in Cairo resumed on Tuesday after a prolonged delay following questions over the legality of proceedings.

Giulio Regeni, a postgraduate student at Britain’s Cambridge University, disappeared in the Egyptian capital in January 2016. His body was found almost a week later and a post-mortem examination showed he had been tortured before his death.

Italian prosecutors believe four Egyptian officials were involved in the killing, but have not been able to track them down to issue summons. As a result they are being tried in absentia.

Proceedings originally opened in October 2021, but were immediately suspended after the judge questioned whether the trial would be legitimate if it was not clear that the accused even knew they had been charged.

Italy’s top court dismissed the concern last year, saying Egypt’s failure to cooperate in locating the suspects should not stymie the trial.

Egypt has claimed Regeni was killed by criminal gangsters and has denied any state involvement in his disappearance or death.

(Reporting by Crispian BalmerEditing by Keith Weir)