“Paola and Claudio often say that all human rights have been violated against Giulio,” Ms. Ballerini added. “Today, we hope that at least the right to justice will not be violated.”
Major Madgi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif, Major General Tariq Sabir, Colonel Athar Kamel Mohamed Ibrahim and Colonel Uhsam Helmi are accused of “aggravated kidnapping” of Mr. Regeni, who was researching trade unions in Cairo when he disappeared, and could face up to 10 years in prison for this charge. Public defenders have been automatically appointed for them in the Italian judicial system.
Major Sharif, also charged with “conspiracy to commit aggravated murder”, could also be sentenced to life imprisonment. If the defendants are found guilty, the Italian authorities could decide to request their extradition from Egypt.
More than five years after the murder, the case still receives intense media coverage in Italy, and the Regeni family and their lawyer often speak at human rights conferences and before groups students, and appear on national television in their campaign to seek the truth about the killing. Last week they met with Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Many Italian politicians have pledged to help the Regenis in their quest for justice, but Egypt has in recent years stopped cooperating with investigators in the case, making extradition unlikely.