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Italy opens new trial over killing of student Giulio Regeni

Four Egyptian officials go on trial in absentia.

Italy opens a fresh trial into the killing of Italian student Giulio Regeni, with four senior Egyptian security officers to be tried in absentia in a Rome court on Tuesday.

The four defendants, who also went on trial in absentia in Rome in 2021, are accused of the kidnap, torture and murder of Regeni in Cairo in 2016.

The 2021 trial was halted on the first day after it was argued that the four suspects had not been formally notified of the charges against them.

However in September Italy's constitutional court ruled that the trial could go ahead as Egyptian authorities had failed to provide contact details of the accused.

Regeni was 28 when he went missing on 25 January 2016 in Cairo where he had been conducting research for his doctoral thesis on Egyptian trade unions and workers' rights.

The mutiliated, semi-naked body of the Cambridge University PhD student was found nine days later on the roadside in the outskirts of Cairo, showing extensive signs of torture.

Regeni's death sparked outrage in Italy and strained the normally close diplomatic ties between Rome and Cairo.

Italy withdrew its ambassador at one point, citing non-cooperation from Egyptian authorities, as Italian lawmakers accused Cairo of being "openly hostile" by not disclosing the whereabouts of the defendants.

Investigators believe that Regeni was abducted and killed after being mistaken for a foreign spy.

Cover image: Torchlight rally in memory of Giulio Regeni in Turin, 25 January 2018. Photo credit: Stefano Guidi / Shutterstock.com.

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