Regeni picked up by Egyptian security service- witnesses

Rome prosecutors set to wind up probe into 5 Cairo secret agents

27 November, 19:13

    ROME - Giulio Regeni, the Italian student abducted, tortured and murdered in Cairo in early 2016, was picked up by members of the Egyptian security services, witnesses have told Rome prosecutors, according to several Italian dailies Friday.

    The witnesses, deemed reliable by the prosecutors, say the 28-year-old Cambridge doctoral researcher was abducted by agents of the Egyptian National Security Agency on January 25, 2016 and taken to at least two barracks in the subsequent hours.

    The young man from Friuli was seen in a barracks near the Dokki metro stop, where he was previously last seen, the witnesses said, and later at another barracks where young foreigners are usually taken.

    Rome prosecutors told their Cairo counterparts about these witness statements at a meeting on November 5.

    Prosecutors in the Italian capital are expected to wrap up their probe against five agents of the Egyptian security apparatus in the next few days.

    Regeni was found dead in a ditch on the Cairo-Alexandria highway on February 3 2016 a week after disappearing on the Cairo metro. He had been tortured so badly that his mother said she only recognised him by the tip of his nose.

    At various times Egypt has advanced differing explanations for his death including a car accident, a gay lovers' tiff and abduction and murder by an alleged kidnapping gang that was wiped out after Regeni's documents were planted in their lair.

    The student was researching Cairo street sellers unions for the British university, a politically sensitive subject.

    The head of the street hawkers union had fingered Regeni as a spy.

    Rome recently drew condemnation from Regeni's parents by announcing the sale of two frigates to Egypt.

    Premier Giuseppe Conte said the deal was on a separate level from cooperation on the Regeni case.

    Ex-premier Matteo Renzi called Tuesday for Italy to send a special envoy to Egypt to urge the Sisi regime to enable the trial of the five secret service members.

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