Egypt refuses to name suspects in Giulio Regeni killing

Prosecutors rejected Italy’s appeal to name policemen suspected of PhD student’s murder, citing lack of evidence.

March in memory of Giulio Regeni in Rome
Judicial sources in Italy had said they would soon place under official investigation at least two members of Egypt's security forces over their alleged involvement in Regeni's disappearance [File: EPA]

Prosecutors in Egypt have rejected an Italian request to name several policemen as suspects in the murder of Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old PhD student who was killed in Cairo in January 2016, local media reported.

Prosecutors said there was no concrete evidence to convict and incarcerate the policemen, according to Egypt’s official news agency.

Egyptian authorities previously turned down a similar request by Italy a year ago.

“Charges should be based on evidence and not suspicions,” Egypt’s State Information Service said in a statement released late on Sunday.

Egyptian and Italian public prosecutors met in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the investigations into Regeni’s case, it said, quoting a judicial source.

The Italian prosecutors asked their Egyptian counterparts “to approve the inclusion of a number of Egyptian policemen on its register of suspects in Italy”, it added.

The policemen are suspected by Italian prosecutors of gathering information about Regeni, according to the source.

Despite months of cooperation between Egyptian and Italian prosecutors, no one has been arrested or charged over the killing. Italy is pressing Egypt to speed up the investigation.

Regeni’s body was found, several days after he was killed, bearing signs of extensive torture which activists and rights groups say is common in Egyptian detention facilities.

Egyptian authorities have denied involvement in his death and initially suggested Regeni died in a traffic accident. They later said he was killed by a criminal gang that was subsequently wiped out in a shoot-out with police.

Italy’s foreign minister on Friday had summoned Egypt’s ambassador and urged Cairo to respect its commitment to move quickly and bring to justice those responsible for the murder of Regeni, who was researching trade unions in Egypt.

Judicial sources in Italy also said last week that they would soon place under official investigation at least two members of Egypt’s security forces over their alleged involvement in Regeni’s disappearance.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies