Regeni’s murder has long been a point of contention between Italy and EgyptComune di Milano

Content Note: Brief mention of torture

Four senior Egyptian security officials were officially accused of Italian student Giulio Regeni’s murder on Wednesday (1/12) by an cross-party Italian parliament commission.

Italian prosecutors claim that those complicit in the “aggravated kidnapping” of Regeni are: Major Magdi Sharif, of Egypt’s General Intelligence; Major General Tarek Sabir, former head of state security; Colonel Ather Kamal, former head of investigations; and police officer Colonel Hisham Helmy. Major Sharif has been further accused of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Regeni, a University of Cambridge PhD student, was conducting research on Egyptian labor unions in Cairo when he disappeared in 2016. His body was found almost a week later on the outskirts of the capital, with a post-mortem showing evidence of extensive torture.

“Responsibility for the kidnapping, torture and killing of Giulio Regeni rests directly on the security apparatus of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and in particular on officials of the National Security Agency (NSA), as minutely reconstructed by the investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome,” reads the cross-party parliamentary committee’s final report, published on Wednesday.

Regeni was believed to have been targeted by Egyptian security forces because of the “politically controversial” nature of his doctorate research, Italian prosecutors claim.


Mountain View

Regeni inquiry arrives in Cambridge

The case has long been a point of contention between Italy and Egypt, with police and officials from the latter repeatedly denying any involvement in Regeni’s kidnapping and killing.

Italian prosecutors first named five Egyptian officials as suspects in the case in 2018, with four of these senior members of Egypt’s security services given three weeks to respond to allegations in December of 2020. Proceedings were later suspended, however, due to concerns over whether the suspects knew they had been charged.

As a result, the case will now return to a preliminary court in order to decide whether to renew efforts to locate the four officials and hand them their writs. Hearings are set to begin in Rome this January.