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Constitutional Court gives Regeni trial go ahead


Italy’s Constitutional Court today ended a stalemate on the trial in absentia in Italy of four Egyptian intelligence officers on suspicion of torturing to death Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo in early 2016.

Italy’s top court ruled the trial could proceed even though the officers have not been informed of the proceedings against them. Cairo has refused to cooperate on the case.

Regeni was tortured to death in Egypt between 25th January and 3rd February  2016. He was a 28-year-old Friuli-born Cambridge University doctoral researcher of Cairo street seller unions.

His work on Egyptian trade unions was politically sensitive. His body was so badly mutilated his mother only recognised him by the tip of his nose.

A Rome judge had asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether the trial could proceed without the presence of the four Egyptian security agents. The agents have been charged in Italy with his murder and without any proof they know they are on trial.

The Egyptian authorities have not cooperated with Italian efforts to formally notify the suspects that they are on trial, preventing proceedings.

Efforts to notify the four officers – National Security General Tariq Sabir and his subordinates, Colonels Athar Kamel Mohamed Ibrahim and Uhsam Helmi, and Major Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif – have been unsuccessful. Egypt has not cooperated by refusing to hand over their contact details and legal abodes.

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