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THE trial of four members of the Egyptian security services accused of kidnapping, torturing and killing Italian student Giulio Regeni opened in Rome today.
General Tariq Sabir, Colonel Usham Helmi, Colonel Athar Kamel Mohamed Ibrahim and Major Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif are being tried in absentia. They deny the charges against them.
Mr Regeni’s badly disfigured body was found dumped near Cairo in February 2016 a week after he had been reported missing.
The Cambridge University student had been researching independent trade unions in Egypt and police initially claimed that he had been abducted and killed by armed gangs.
But Italian prosecutors found that Egypt’s national security agency was behind the killing and accused it of spying on Mr Regeni in the weeks leading up to his death.
They finally admitted that the researcher had been taken into police custody, but denied involvement in his death, with Egyptian chief prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi saying there was “insufficient evidence” to bring charges.
Mr Regeni’s parents, who were present at today’s hearing, have been critical of the Italian government who have continued trade with Egypt, including the sale of two frigates as part of a major arms deal.
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