Five Egyptian police officers are not being prosecuted in connection with the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in 2016. The Egyptian prosecutor asked investigators on Wednesday to remove the agents from the investigation.
The prosecution argued that he would not prosecute the five agents because it would be unknown who was behind the murder. According to the district attorney, the murder investigation will continue.
Italian prosecutors decided earlier this month to charge up to four Egyptian security officers with the torture and death of Regenti.
Regenti’s death caused great indignation in Italy, putting diplomatic relations with Egypt under considerable pressure. The Italian government accuses the Egyptian authorities of not participating in the investigation of the student’s death.
The prosecution said that Regenti’s parents had taken their son’s laptop immediately after his death, before the contents could be inspected by the authorities. Italy would have refused to transfer the laptop.
The 28-year-old Regenti, a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, studied the emergence of independent trade unions in Egypt. He disappeared at the end of January 2016 without a trace. His body was found in a ditch two weeks later and showed signs of torture.
Critics of the Egyptian regime accused the security services of involvement. The Egyptian government denied this. Autopsy revealed earlier that the victim must have been tortured for a week before he was murdered.
Trade unions are a sensitive issue in Egypt. Under a pseudonym, the student had written several articles criticizing the authoritarian Egyptian regime.