Giulio Regeni hearing put off till May 25

Documentary posted aiming to discredit slain Italian student

29 April, 13:39

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, APR 29 - A preliminary hearing against four Egyptian security officers accused in the 2016 torture and murder in Cairo of Italian student Giulio Regeni was postponed until May 25 Thursday due to one of the defence attorneys having COVID.

    Standing trial in absentia are National Security General Tariq Sabir and his subordinates, Colonels Athar Kamel Mohamed Ibrahim and Uhsam Helmi, and Major Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif.

    The hearing will weigh Rome prosecutors' request to indict them for Regeni's murder.

    A witness recently told the prosecutors that the four staged a "robbery gone wrong" to try to cover up Regeni's torture and murder.

    On January 25, the fifth anniversary of Regeni's disappearance on the Cairo metro, President Sergio Mattarella demanded a response from Egypt over the Friuli-born student's torture and murder.

    The brutalised body of the Cambridge University doctoral researcher into the politically sensitive topic of Egyptian street unions was found a week later, on February 3, 2016, in a ditch on the road to Alexandria.

    He had been tortured so badly his mother said she only recognised him by the tip of his nose.

    Also on Thursday, the chair o the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the Regeni case, Ernesto Palazzotto, said a video discrediting Regeni posted on the Web by persons unknown ahead of the hearing was "shameful".

    Regeni's parents, Claudio Regeni and Paola Deffendi, have accused the government of continuing to do business with Egypt, selling Cairo two frigates.

    Rome prosecutors say that Regeni was tortured for days, resulting in "acute physical suffering" by being subjected to kicks, punches, beaten with sticks and bats and cut with sharp objects, and also being burned with red-hot objects and slammed into walls.

    Egypt's prosecutor general, Hamada al Sawi, has said "there is insufficient evidence to prove the charges".

    At various times Egypt has advanced differing explanations for his death including a car accident, a gay lovers' tiff and abduction and murder by an alleged kidnapping gang that was wiped out after Regeni's documents were planted in their lair.

    The head of the street hawkers union had fingered Regeni as a possible spy.

    Lack of cooperation on the case by Egypt led to Rome's temporarily withdrawing its ambassador from Cairo. (ANSAmed).

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