Egypt Rejects Naming of its Agents as Suspects in Regeni’s Murder

Egypt has rejected the addition of members of its security services to an Italian list of suspects in the murder of the student Giulio Regeni, in a statement that spelled his name incorrectly.

“Egyptian law does not recognize what is called ‘the record of suspects,” the state information service (SIS) said, citing an anonymous member of the judiciary. The statement was titled “Julio [sic] Regini’s case: charges should be based on evidence and not suspicions.”

After a meeting on 28 November between Rome’s deputy public prosecutor and his Egyptian counterparts, Italy added several members of Egypt’s national security agency (NSA) to a list of preliminary suspects last week.

Italian investigators had previously expressed suspicions that Regeni was followed by agents from the NSA, who also deployed Ahmed Abdullah, the head of the street vendors’ union, to surveil and film Regeni while he researched trade unions in Egypt, a politically sensitive subject.

The Italian paper Corriere della Serra outlined last week how Italian intelligence researched Regeni’s movements in his final days.

In its statement released on Sunday night, the SIS cast doubt on the quality of the Italian investigation and whether it was possible to list the suspects under the Italian legal system.

Paz Zarate, a friend of Regeni, tweeted, “Egypt not only continues to lie but also to show disrespect by not writing his name right. It’s easy to spell, so this must be a deliberate gesture to indicate where the investigation is going: nowhere.”

Giulio Regeni, the PhD.  student, who was doing postgraduate research into Egyptian labor unions,  disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the January Revolution. The Cambridge University student’s body was found brutally tortured in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital, on February 3, 2016. His mother said that she could only recognize him by his nose.

Torture found on Regeni’s body showed the signs of Egypt’s security forces which are known for using violence against detainees to gain information and confessions.

The Egyptian authorities have narrated several stories about the Italian student murder. They previously claimed he was killed in a traffic accident. Then, they claimed he was kidnapped and murdered by a gang specialized in killing foreigners. Five suspected men were shot dead by the Egyptian security forces.

However, Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said to the Italian team last year that  his investigation has shown strong doubts about the authenticity of accusing the five Egyptians who were all shot dead by security forces while they were on a microbus – according to the story of the Interior Ministry – of being behind the murder of Regeni.

In this context, the prosecutor general informed the Italian investigators that this accident was used by the security forces as “a coverage “to hide the real murderer and accordingly he has referred two of the police officers, who participated in killing the five victims, to investigations to know the truth about what happened especially that there was no exchange of fire with the five victims as claimed by the security forces.

The investigation team didn’t find any blood traces inside the microbus which means that they were killed outside it. Accordingly, they weren’t attacking the police forces and this means that they were killed previously.

Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek handed over a copy of the investigations conducted with two police officers to the Italian investigators.