Six months ago, “Egyptian police killed five men allegedly linked to […] the torture and murder of an Italian researcher named Giulio Regeni. The battered and disfigured body of the 28-year-old Cambridge PhD student, who was pursuing sensitive research in Egypt, had been found in a roadside ditch between Cairo and Alexandria”.
“Soon after that, the ministry said that Regeni’s belongings – including his passport and a wallet – had been found in the home of one of the accused, who in death was unable to defend himself.”
“Experts and Italian officials had suspected from the outset that elements of the Egyptian state had carried out the murder, despite the government’s staunch denials. The murder led to a major diplomatic incident between the two countries.”
“In Rome the story that the men in the minibus had killed Regeni immediately smacked of a cover-up, according to a senior Italian official, and was quickly disregarded. Now, following months of acrimony between Egyptian and Italian officials over the still unsolved murder, the shooting has become a mere footnote in the tragedy.”
“Egyptian officials have admitted that the group were unlikely to have had any involvement in Regeni’s killing. Egypt’s public prosecutor, Nabil Sadek, said earlier this month that while the case was still under investigation, the link between the five men and Regeni’s death was weak.”
“It is not clear – especially since Egyptian officials now say the five were likely unconnected to Regeni’s death – how the Italian researcher’s passport, bank card and ID documents arrived at [one of the accused’s] sisters’ apartment. There were no withdrawals from Regeni’s bank account and Italian officials said his mobile phone has never been found.”