Report. The Egyptian student is banned from leaving Egypt ahead of his February hearing. Meanwhile, an Italian weapons maker closed half a billion euros in jet sales with al-Sisi.

Zaki will not be able to come to Italy, but billions in weapons will go to Egypt

Patrick Zaki is barred from travelling abroad, according to ANSA, citing Egyptian sources. This prohibition that people feared was included as part of the “annexes” to the release order issued for the Egyptian student ahead of his next hearing on February 1, 2022.

“He won’t be able to leave until after the trial is over,” the sources told the agency. His own lawyers thought it more than likely that he would not be able to leave Egypt. This has happened before to a large number of political prisoners who have been released from prison ahead of their trials, as well as activists who have not been prosecuted.

In the meantime, the business that ties the Cairo regime to the Italian war industry seems to be going strong: according to the French portal Africa Intelligence, the Italian giant Leonardo (which took part in the Egypt Defence Expo, a military fair that took place in Cairo at the beginning of the month and of which Fincantieri was the first sponsor) is close to accepting an order worth €500 million for 20 Aermacchi M-346 jets.

The jets would be part of the famous €9-11 billion “package” also containing 20 Fincantieri patrol vessels, 24 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, observation satellites and the two Fincantieri Fremms frigates, already delivered to the al-Sisi regime last winter.

Five of the 24 Aw149 helicopters from a 2019 order, which also includes eight AW189 civilian models (total value €871 million), are set to be delivered to Cairo by Leonardo.

The news comes at the same time as the annual report of the Committee to Protect Journalists: Egypt is the third-worst country in the world in terms of the number of journalists in prison (25 at the moment), second only to China and Myanmar.

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