Egypt clears officers for murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni | News Europe

Prosecutors reject Italian claims that five Egyptian police officers were involved in the torture and murder of Regeni in 2016.

The Egyptian prosecutor cleared five police officers of responsibility in the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in 2016 and said he would not pursue the case because the perpetrator is unknown.

The decision announced on Wednesday by public prosecutor Hamada al-Sawy came nearly three weeks after Italian prosecutors announced that they planned to indict four Egyptian security agents for the torture and death of the man. 28 years.

The Cambridge University graduate was in Egypt investigating the unions when he was kidnapped in January 2016 and his mutilated body was later found in the suburbs of Cairo.

His death sparked outrage in Italy and strained diplomatic relations between the two countries, with the Italian government accusing the Egyptian authorities of non-cooperation.

Sawy said in a statement that the Egyptian prosecution did not intend to “pursue a criminal case for the murder, kidnapping and torture of Giulio Regeni because the perpetrator is unknown”.

Investigators would continue to search for the identity of the murderer but the prosecution “dismissed” any charges “against the four policemen and a fifth policeman” in connection with the case, he said.

The prosecution said the victim’s parents collected his personal effects from his residence in Cairo, especially his laptop, immediately after the announcement of his death and before the prosecution inspection.

He added that the Italian side had rejected requests to hand over the victim’s laptop to analyze its contents.

The prosecution said it requested information from the University of Cambridge in Britain on Regeni’s studies and in Kenya on the testimony of a witness who said he heard a discussion between an Egyptian policeman and another person in About the incident.

However, neither of them provided the requested information, he said.

“Significant proof”

On December 10, Italian prosecutor Michele Prestipino told a parliamentary committee in Rome that there was “significant evidence” involving Egyptian police officers.

“We are going to ask to start criminal proceedings against certain members of the Egyptian security services,” he said. “We owe it to the memory of Giulio Regeni.”

Regeni had been researching the sensitive subject of labor organizations in Egypt when he disappeared. He had also written articles criticizing the government under a pseudonym.

Since his death, Italian investigators have rejected several theories put forward by Egyptian authorities, including that Regeni worked as a spy or that he was the victim of a criminal gang.

The victim’s behavior, which did not fit with the doctoral research he was conducting, prompted security authorities to monitor him with measures that did not restrict his freedom or violate his privacy, the prosecutor said. in a Wednesday statement.

Investigations revealed that, as part of his studies, he spoke to some street vendors about the Egyptian political system and assured them that they could change the situation, as it had happened in other countries.

The statement added that investigations stopped after it was found that his actions did not constitute crimes against public safety.

Although the prosecution offered no other murder suspects, the statement suggested that the unknown killer deliberately chose January 25 – the anniversary of the Arab Spring uprising in Egypt in 2011 – for the crime, seeking to indict police for the act.

The prosecution further accused unspecified parties hostile to Egypt and Italy of the crime, in an attempt to drive a wedge between the two.

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