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News > Egypt

Egypt Refuses to Accuse Police Over Cambridge Scholar Murder

  • Giulio Regeni's murder case still remains unsolved amid escalating Egypt-Italy tension.

    Giulio Regeni's murder case still remains unsolved amid escalating Egypt-Italy tension. | Photo: Twitter / @mlnangalama

Published 3 December 2018

Egypt refuses to accuse suspected police officers over the murder of Cambridge University scholar Giulio Regeni. 

Denying Italy’s request, Egypt had refused to accuse several of its police officers to be named as suspects in the murder case of Giulio Regeni, an Italian doctorate student from the University of Cambridge, The Guardian reported Monday.


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Regeni was a Ph.D. scholar at the Department of Development Studies in Cambridge who went missing for nine days in Egypt during his fieldwork in January 2016.

His mutilated corpse bearing extensive torture marks was found on a desert road outside Cairo nine days later. Egyptian authorities suspected his murder was related to his thesis on trade unions, a sensitive subject in the country.

Earlier this year, Roman prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone said that he believed that the scholar’s death was due to his research topic.

The Egyptian authorities initially said that Regeni had died in an accident, then changed their statement to him being killed by a criminal gang whose five members were later killed by Egyptian police.

However, Italian investigators said that Regeni was followed by national security agency (NSA) agents who also deployed Ahmed Abdullah, the head of a street vendor’s union to spy on him.

According to Abdullah, “He was asking too many questions.”

Egyptian and Italian prosecutors met earlier this week to discuss the state of the investigation, but judicial sources in Rome said the Cairo team failed to deliver a promised breakthrough. Regeni’s death also caused diplomatic trouble between the two countries which had historically close ties.

The Italian parliament suspended all ties with its Egyptian counterparts last week. Italy's foreign minister summoned Egypt's ambassador Friday and urged Cairo to respect its commitment to move quickly and bring those responsible for the murder to justice.

However, regarding accusing suspected police officers, “Egyptian law does not recognize what is called ‘the record of suspects’,” the state information service (SIS) said. The statement was titled “Julio [sic] Regeni’s case: charges should be based on evidence and not suspicions.”

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