Italian investigation into Giulio Regeni’s death heads to Cambridge | Italy

An Italian parliamentary delegation is due to travel to Cambridge this week to meet with the university on the death in 2016 of postgraduate student Giulio Regeni, who was kidnapped and killed in Cairo while researching the Egyptian unions.

Four senior officials of the powerful Egyptian security services were indicted last year by a judge in Rome for their alleged role in the disappearance and murder of the 28-year-old Italian. The trial will take place in absentia after the Egyptian state refuses to recognize the Italian legal process or to extradite the four suspects.

“We are not here to investigate Cambridge,” Erasmo Palazzotto, chairman of the parliamentary commission of inquiry, told the Guardian. “We all know those responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Giulio are in Egypt.

“We are here because we believe their help is needed. We have been in contact with the representatives of the university for a few months, and they have shown us their willingness to collaborate. We need them to help us find answers to some of the unanswered questions.

The delegation will hear from representatives of the university, including the dean, and also scheduled meetings with professors with expertise in the Middle East with whom Regeni had collaborated.

The delegation also requested to speak with Dr Maha Abdelrahman, who was Regeni’s supervisor. In February 2020, Rome’s Attorney General Michele Prestipino said it was a “mystery” that she did not cooperate with the investigation after the first formal contact.

Relatives of Abdelrahman, who took time off from teaching after Regeni’s murder, say she was deeply moved by the student’s death. A number of academics around the world have united in defending Abdelrahman, dismissing claims that she tasked Regeni with researching a subject she knew to be dangerous and that he was reluctant to pursue.

“His reluctance to collaborate with Italian prosecutors has been a problem for the investigation,” Palazzotto said. “I hope she agrees to speak with us. I hope she will help us understand what happened, explain why she decided not to collaborate with the Italian authorities.

Parliamentarians plan to meet with officials from the UK government and the Foreign Office on Wednesday to discuss the Regeni affair.

“It is important to involve the British government,” says Palazzotto. “Giulio’s death has shown that the Egyptian regime does not spare Europeans from violence, to whom it reserves the brutal treatment its citizens undergo on a daily basis. No one is immune from the violence of the Egyptian dictatorship. And the European and British governments cannot continue to have friendly and economic relations with a man like [President Abdel Fattah] el-Sisi, pretending not to see what’s going on in this country. ”

Several European countries, including Italy, have offered the Egyptian president and his regime arms sales and state visits. Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron, present Sisi with the Legion of Honor, the highest distinction of the French state.

On October 3, the work of the parliamentary committee will end. The content of the hearings with Cambridge representatives will be made public in two weeks.

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