Giorgia Meloni will testify regarding Egypt's part in delaying the prosecution of a student slaying
Giorgia Meloni will testify regarding Egypt's part in delaying the prosecution of a student slaying

Rome: Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, and Antonio Tajani, the minister of foreign affairs, have been summoned to testify in the trial of four Egyptian law enforcement officials who are charged with torturing and killing an Italian student in 2016.

Meloni will be questioned about the guarantees Cairo provided that it would cooperate, according to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

On April 3, Meloni and Tajani will give testimony in Rome, according to Italian media on Monday. Alessandra Ballerini, a lawyer for the late Giulio Regeni's family, asked for their testimony.

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In 2016, Regeni was a Cambridge University undergraduate when he visited Cairo to conduct research on labor unrest and unions. That January, he vanished, and a few days later, his dismembered body—bruised, beaten, burned, and stabbed—was found in a ditch. According to Italian and Egyptian investigations, he was subjected to torture for a number of days before he died from his wounds. Age-wise, he was 28.

Cairo attributed the kidnapping and murder to a criminal gang, but Italian prosecutors, who were supported by US officials, blamed al-security Sisi's personnel. In absentia proceedings in Rome against four security personnel began in October 2021.

The case has not advanced since, though, as the four accused have not had their addresses made public by the Egyptian government. The men had to be officially informed that they were being charged before the case could start, according to Italian law.

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At a UN climate summit in Egypt in November, Meloni spoke with al-Sisi. Meloni later told reporters that the two discussed the Regeni case. Tajani met with al-Sisi in January, and he claimed that during their conversation, al-Sisi gave him the assurance that he would "remove the obstacles" to the case's resolution.

Ballerini promised to find out precisely what assurances al-Sisi gave Meloni and Tajani.

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Rome and Cairo's relations were damaged by Regeni's murder. But Meloni's predecessors rekindled this relationship, with Prime Minister Mario Draghi approving a $1.2 billion arms deal with Egypt last year and Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte concluding a deal with Egypt's counterpart under his watch.

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