Eight Years After His Murder, Italy Seeks Justice for Giulio Regeni with New Trial

ROME, Italy – Eight years after the brutal killing of Italian graduate Giulio Regeni in Cairo, a new trial has reignited the quest for justice in Italy. Regeni, a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, was found tortured and murdered in 2016, sparking tension between Italy and Egypt.

The trial, which opened on Tuesday, seeks to hold accountable those responsible for Regeni’s abduction and death. Italy has named four Egyptian security officers as suspects in his killing and has refused to drop the case, despite the lack of cooperation from Egypt.

Regeni’s research on Egypt’s independent trade unions may have put him in the crosshairs of the country’s authoritarian government, which has violently repressed unofficial protest movements. His body was discovered with signs of extreme torture, including broken bones, stab wounds, cigarette burns, and bruises.

The case has strained diplomatic relations between Italy and Egypt, with the two countries conducting separate investigations and reaching vastly different conclusions. The Italian prosecutors’ theory is that Regeni was under surveillance when he was abducted by Egyptian security forces, possibly due to his research and left-wing associations, and may have been mistaken for a spy.

The new trial in Italy has been adjourned to allow for further proceedings, but questions linger about the reasons for the delay in prosecuting Regeni’s killer. The alleged involvement of national security officers has raised political implications, including potential ties to Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

The trial is expected to call key political figures to testify, including President al-Sisi and Italy’s former prime minister Matteo Renzi. The re-opening of the case is a significant development for Regeni’s family and their quest for justice after enduring eight years of uncertainty and frustration.