The road to the truth about the death of Giulio Regeni leads to the Constitutional Court. Because the trial of the researcher kidnapped, tortured and killed by four Egyptian National Security agents is now in the hands of the Consulta. At that time it will be established whether the trial can go ahead even in the absence of the defendants. It will therefore be the stoats who will evaluate whether the law that prevents reaching a sentence is legitimate or not.
The court of Rome has in fact accepted the request with which the prosecutor raised the question of constitutional legitimacy regarding the provision that prevents the proceedings from going ahead if there is no certainty that the defendants are aware of a trial against them. It is the impasse on which the "Regeni case" has been stuck for months.
Regeni's parents: "There is more hope"
"There is one more hope, let's hope that this is the definitive time and that it will be sanctioned that this process can and must take place. Since we always say that Giulio 'does things', we hope that Giulio can also intervene in a legislative reform that allows crimes of this gravity not to be left unpunished when states do not cooperate". This is what the lawyer Alessandra Ballerini said, referring to the thoughts of the parents of Giulio Regeni, Paola and Claudio on the decision of the investigating judge who sent the documents to the Consulta.
Murder of Giulio Regeni, in Court in Rome for the hearing also Elly Schlein. Prosecutors: "Egypt does not cooperate? The Consulta should intervene"
by Giuliano Foschini, Andrea Ossino
The sit in: "Giulio's story concerns the whole country"
It is a paradox that, as the Regeni family's lawyer recalled, Alessandra Balleriniinvolves the whole country: "It is not a family story but it is a story that concerns the dignity of this country and the safety of all citizens in the world", explained the lawyer, passing the sit-in organized outside the court, where, among others, Pif and the former Speaker of the Chamber Roberto Fico were present.
What does article 420 of the penal code provide
The fact is simple: the defendants continue their lives, one of them, Husam Helmi, even speaks at public conferences organized in the headquarters of the law faculty of the 'Ayn Shams University, in Cairo, and his videos were also circulating on Youtube. But Egypt refuses to notify them of the deeds. Therefore, as foreseen by article 420 bis of the penal procedure code, the Italian trial cannot go ahead.
Therefore, the regulatory obstacle must be removed. And to do so, the prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi and the adjunct Sergio Colaiocco asked the judge to have the matter examined by the Consulta, given that the provision in question would violate at least 7 articles of the Charter: 2, 3, 10, 11, 24, 111 and 117. Principles which regulate the dignity of the person, which concern the right to judicial protection, which ensure peace and justice among nations, therefore the promotion of "international organizations aimed at this purpose", as stated in article 11, a basic law to repress human rights violations internationally.
Giulio Regeni's parents: "Trial in Italy for the four defendants. From governments only silence"
Not only. Article 420 bis is contrary, according to the Roman prosecutors, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to the Declaration on the fundamental principles of justice in favor of the victims of crime and abuse of power, to the UN conventions on terrorism, corruption and organized crime, to NATO conventions and also to some treaties which oblige cooperation between states. So it is illegitimate, wrong and must be examined by the Constitutional Court.
If this were to leave it unchanged, the Regeni process risks extinction. But if the stoats evaluate positively the observations of the Rome prosecutor's office, the road to the truth about the death of the researcher killed in 2016 would suddenly become viable, despite what the judge who had already examined the case, and also the Court of Assizes, have defined as "an absence of loyal collaboration from the Egyptian judicial authority", recalls the order just issued by the court of Rome.
Francesco Lo Voi: "We will see what the Consulta will decide and we will act accordingly"
"In our approach this was the only possibility, in the event that the Consulta were to accept the question, to be able to celebrate the process, except to hypothesize legislative changes of which in truth we do not see any proposal. We have a further road to travel, compared to those traveled up to now and which unfortunately have not led to any useful result because the situation of bogging down is such that it was not possible to get out of it", explains the chief prosecutor of Rome, Francesco Lo Voi, who today was in the classroom. "We have decided to assert the profile of unconstitutionality with reference to the constitutionalisation of principles that derive from numerous international conventions - added the head of the Rome prosecutors - which impose cooperation and judicial assistance between states, including that in particular on torture, which was also ratified by Egypt. We felt it was appropriate to bring this question to the examination of the Constitutional Court. We will see what the Consulta decides and we will act accordingly".
Omissions, delays and refusals of Egypt
"Omissions, delays, refusals", have characterized the relationship between the Italian judiciary and that of Cairo. "The will of the Egyptian state not to provide judicial assistance to the Italian judicial authority for the tracing and notification of the decree setting the preliminary hearing for the four defendants has been ascertained", writes the judge who has just sent the documents to the Consulta . These are papers which state "the alleged knowledge on the part of the defendants of the proceeding against them which takes place in Italy". After all, the media, including the Egyptians, gave ample coverage to the story, and they themselves were listened to by the Egyptian authorities. Furthermore, "the Egyptian investigative apparatuses were aware of the developments and the outcome of the Italian proceeding". And then "the suspects had been repeatedly invited, without any follow-up, to elect domicile in Italy"
It matters little. Without the certainty that the defendants are aware of the trial, the truth about Giulio Regeni's death cannot arrive.
Egypt established 'free zone of impunity'
All of this, according to the Italian magistrates, violates the Constitution and international treaties. "The obstructionist conduct of the foreign state - writes the judge in fact - not only damages the right of the victims of the crime to a fair trial, but also the right of defense of the defendants themselves". "It cannot therefore be excluded that the foreign Authority, for reasons beyond the interest of the defendants in a fair trial, prevents its citizen or resident from participating in the trial in Italy by not allowing the latter to face the trial and to prove his innocence". In fact, the Cartabia reform "encourages and fuels situations of obstructionism or abuse of the law". According to the court, "the Egyptian state, by refusing to cooperate with the Italian authorities, removes its officials from the jurisdiction of the Italian judge, creating a situation of immunity not recognized by any provision of the international legal system". "This situation of immunity determines - continues the ordinance - an inadmissible free zone of impunity for Egyptian citizens-officials against Italian citizens who have suffered crimes in that country"
"Undemocratic and authoritarian Egypt"
The judge is outspoken: "The choice of the Egyptian authorities to remove their citizens from Italian jurisdiction for ascertaining responsibility for crimes that harm inviolable human rights is an anti-democratic, authoritarian choice, which fact creates in Italy, a country inspired by democratic principles and equality, a difference in treatment with respect to Italian citizens and foreign citizens of other countries, who in similar cases would be tried".
Again: while "it is enough for the defendants to know that there is a trial against them in Italy for the murder of Giulio Regeni to escape the trial, the Gup is instead asked to prove the awareness and willingness to escape not already the proceedings, but to the trial and that is to demonstrate that the defendants, who escape the criminal proceedings, also know the charges".
In short: "the jurisdiction of the Italian judge cannot be exercised by the will of the foreign authorities... the impossibility of trying the four defendants in Italy, by the will of the foreign state to which they belong, certainly contrasts" with our Constitution. And this the Consulta will have to take into account. "After all - concludes the judge - the story of the 'Regenì trial has mobilized almost all the political and social forces of our country and there is no political party or humanitarian association that has not expressed its opinion that this trial must be celebrated. Because it is repugnant to the common sense of justice, that such a serious fact cannot be the subject of a trial "