New Regeni info request from Rome prosecutors to Egypt

Italian resercher's body was found severely tortured in Cairo

15 March, 20:48

    ROME - Rome prosecutors probing the torture and murder of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni in Cairo last year have made another request for information from Cairo prosecutors, judicial sources said Wednesday.

    Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano raised the question of Regeni with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry during a meeting of European ministers on March 6. "I will tell him that as far as we are concerned the case can only be closed by the word 'truth'. There are no words that are subordinate to truth," Alfano said before the meeting.

    After the working lunch with Shoukry, Alfano said his Egyptian counterpart had reiterated that Cairo would do its "all" to get at the truth about the Cambridge doctoral student from northeastern Italy. Egypt, Alfano said, "wants ties with Italy to be fully restored", referring to the current lack of an ambassador in Cairo, because of the case.

    Alfano said Cairo was "prepared to retrieve the truth out of any drawer it might be in, giving a helping hand until the end to find those responsible for the murder".

    Regeni, 28, went missing in the Egyptian capital on January 25, 2016, on the heavily policed fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted former strongman and president Hosni Mubarak.

    His severely tortured, mutilated body was found on February 3 in a ditch on the city's outskirts.

    Egypt has denied speculation its security forces, who are frequently accused of brutally repressing opposition, were involved in the death of the Cambridge doctoral student.

    Egyptian and Italian prosecutors have been working on the case but Rome has yet to send a new ambassador to Cairo in protest at the lack of progress.

    At the end of January the deputy head of the Egyptian parliament's foreign affairs committee, Tarek El Khouly, repeated that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wants to find the people who tortured and murdered Regeni.

    "I think there is an order from the Egyptian political leaders, from the president in person, to the general prosecutor to discover who killed Regeni, whoever that may be," El Khouly told ANSA.

    "I think that, in any part of the world, mistakes are made by security apparatus. Perhaps it is a crime concerning an Egyptian security apparatus, perhaps not," said El Khouly, adding that the Regeni case had been politically "exploited" in both Egypt and Italy and urging a "separation" between Italy-Egypt ties and the case.

    It recently emerged that the head of the Egyptian street sellers' trade union secretly filmed Regeni for the Cairo police in December 2015. The union official, Mohammed Abdallah, said he had agreed to do his patriotic duty because Regeni was a "spy".

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