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Regeni case, the Egyptian 007s can be tried even if absent: what changes?

The Regeni case finally makes progress. And he does them thanks to one ruling of the Constitutional Court according to which Egypt cannot prevent Italy from trying the defendants for the kidnapping and murder of Giulio Regeni who was tortured before being killed. These defendants can be tried even if they are not present and the documents could not be served on them.

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The Consulta established that a hearing cannot be prevented by the refusal of judicial collaboration by the State of origin or residence of the persons involved. In fact, this refusal is in conflict with the Constitution which guarantees the equality of all citizens before the law, the right to a fair trial, the mandatory nature of criminal action.

The statement says that the Consulta «has declared the constitutional illegitimacy of the art. 420-bis, paragraph 3, of the code of criminal procedure, in the part in which it does not provide for the judge to proceed in his absence for crimes committed through acts of torture defined by art. 1, paragraph 1, of the New York Convention against torturewhen, due to the lack of assistance from the State to which the accused belongs, it is impossible to have proof that the latter, although aware of the proceedings, was made aware of the pending trial, without prejudice to the right of the accused himself to a new trial in person to re-examine the merits of the case”.

The Court accepted the request of the Rome prosecutor’s office which has seen the trial against four members of the security forces of the Arab Republic of Egypt stopped for two years: General Sabir Tariq, Colonels Mohamed Athar Kamel and Helmy Uhsam, Major Magdi Ibrahim Sharif. They are the Egyptian agents accused of having kidnapped in Cairo, on the evening of January 25, 2016, the Italian researcher. Giulio Regeni was later found dead along the road to Alessandria on 3 February of the same year. The process was blocked because it had been impossible to serve them with the documents. Egypt never disclosed their contact details.

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After this ruling, the judge for the preliminary hearing will be able to send the defendants in the Regeni case to trial. “We were right” say Giulio’s family. «It was repugnant to the common sense of justice that the trial for the kidnapping, torture and killing of Giulio could not be held due to the obstructionism of the al-Sisi dictatorship on whose behalf the four defendants committed these terrible crimes. In fact, as the Gup Ranazzi wrote in his ordinance “there is no more unjust process than that which cannot be established by will of a government authority”. We had to resist this dictatorial will for seven and a half years, always trusting in the constitutional principles of our democracy. We thank all the people who have supported and will support our path towards truth and justice: the Rome prosecutor’s office and in particular Doctor Colaiocco, the media escort, and all the yellow people.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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