Italy hopes the trial will shed light on the murder that shocked the country and strained ties with Egypt, which has repeatedly denied that its officials had anything to do with Regeni’s brutal death.
“The search for truth has always been and will be a fundamental goal in our relations with Egypt,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told a parliamentary commission of inquiry last month.
“Getting a definite picture in the framework of a fair trial would not bring Giulio back to his parents, but it would confirm the strength of justice, transparency and the rule of law in which he believed.”
A postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge, UK, Regeni disappeared in the Egyptian capital in January 2016. His body was found about a week later and post-mortem examination revealed that he had been extensively tortured before his death.
Italian and Egyptian prosecutors investigated the case together, but the two sides later split and came to very different conclusions.
Italian prosecutors say Major Magadi Sharif from Egypt’s General Intelligence, Major General Tarek Sabir, former head of state security, Colonel of Police Hisham Helmi and Colonel Ather Kamal, former head of the investigation in the city of Cairo, “were responsible for the increased kidnapping.” “Regani K.
Sharif has also been charged with “conspiracy to commit grievous murder”.
The suspects have never publicly responded to the allegations, and Egyptian police and officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Regeny’s disappearance and murder.
Regeni’s parents were among the first to come to trial, which is being held in a high-security Rome prison.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s office stated that the government would be a civil party in the case, indicating that it sees itself as a wrong party.
Court-appointed defense lawyers say the trial should not take place because it is not certain that any suspects are aware of the proceedings.
A judge dismissed his objection at a preliminary hearing in May, saying news of the investigation would have reached him. However, the trial judge may decide otherwise on Thursday and seeks to make another attempt to contact him.
Regeny was in Cairo to research Egyptian independent unions for his doctoral thesis. Allies say he was also interested in the long-standing domination of the Egyptian economy by the state and military. Both subjects are sensitive in Egypt.
Prosecutors say they have evidence that Sharif obtained informers to follow Regeny and eventually arrested him at the Cairo metro station. The chargesheet said that Sharif and other unidentified Egyptian officials tortured Regeny for several days, causing him “severe physical pain”.
Egyptian authorities initially said that Regeny had died in a road accident. He later said that he was a victim of kidnapping by gangsters who were later caught and killed by the police.
It is not clear how long the trial will last. The government has said it will try to extradite anyone convicted in the case.