Criminal law Professor Mohamed Bahaa Abu Shoqa said the Egyptian Public Prosecution has denied the involvement of the country’s security forces in the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni.
Abu Shoqa’s remarks came during a televised phone interview with TV presenter Amr Adib on the latter’s talk show, Al-Hekaya, last Friday.
During the interview, Abu Shoqa said that the prosecution conducted an investigation and extracted physical and biological evidence using the most accurate methods of examination.
The inspection examined cell phones, as well as all sim cards used in the geographical areas that the victim visited.
Abu Shoqa noted that, over the investigations five-year period, as many as 120 witnesses and persons of interest were liaised with, with the Public Prosecution concluding that the reported murder was true and occurred.
He added that the discovery of Regeni’s murder, in February 2016, came about six weeks after the reporting of several incidents of coerced robbery by a gang arresting citizens in the Fifth Settlement area of New Cairo.
Abu Shoqa also said that, at time, the Public Prosecutor’s Office issued the police with the legal authorisations to arrest the gang of five perpetrators, after receiving reports of the incidents of from an Italian national.
Other reports relating to the robberies came from a Portuguese national, with the third coming from a Nigerian, with each report being filed separately and at different times.
Egypt’s Public Prosecutor Hamada Al-Sawy had earlier said that there was no reason to file a criminal case regarding Regeni’s detainment, physical torture, and death, due to the lack of evidence confirming the perpetrator’s identity.
The Italian student’s body was found mutilated and half-naked on a road outside Cairo in February 2016, with the case causing a diplomatic row between Italy and Egypt.
Regeni was a Cambridge scholar who had been conducting PhD research in Cairo on the labour unions in Egypt at the time of his death. He disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, with his body found on 3 February 2016, dumped on the side of a road outside Cairo. There was evidence of physical torture, such as cigarette burns and bruises discovered on his body.
The Italian investigations were closed with accusations levelled against five Egyptian security officers of their involvement in the incident. However, the exact identity of the perpetrators of the Italian graduate student’s death remains unknown. The case was referred to an Italian court.
On 10 December, Italian prosecutors said they planned to charge four senior members of Egypt’s security forces over their alleged role in Regeni’s disappearance and murder. A fifth officer was initially accused, but later had his name dropped from any charges, according to the Italian press.
Late last month, Egypt said it would “temporarily close” its investigation into murder of Regeni, which was running in parallel to the Italian investigation, saying that Rome’s accusations were based on insufficient evidence.