Regeni 'a victim of foreign powers', Samih Sawirs says

Tourism tycoon '100% sure' that Egypt didn't kill him

23 May, 18:18

    A file picture of Samih Sawiris. A file picture of Samih Sawiris.

    (by Rodolfo Calò)  - CAIRO - Samih Sawiris, the Egyptian real estate and holiday resorts tycoon, gives substance to the theory that Giulio Regeni was tortured to death by the secret services of a country interested in isolating Egypt. In an interview with ANSAmed the billionaire brother of opposition politician and telecommunications tycoon Naguib Sawiris also claims that the alleged "lies" about the murder of the young Friulian researcher should in fact be seen as the result of mistakes made by low-level officials put under too much pressure.

    Question (Q): In the present situation created by the Regeni case, what are the prospects for the Italian-Egyptian relationship?

    Answer (A): Unfortunately the few explanations that were given came under pressure from public opinion, the Italian State, even our president, which made those responsible react very quickly but not efficiently, at least according to European standards. It has been the typical reaction of any Egyptian government employee under pressure: his immediate response is to find a solution even if there isn't any. Imagine a man of the apparatus, who is taking punches from all sides. He has two possible reactions: either to admit 'I don'tknow anything at all, so I deserve to be fired', or to find a solution in any case because he hopes in this way he can be left in peace.

    Q: But who do you think killed Regeni?

    A: The Egyptian government is not behind this crime but unfortunately the Italian public opinion is still blaming Egypt and not some foreign secret service that achieved its goal: isolating Egypt. When the whole EU was taking orders from the US saying 'We must get the Muslim Brothers back', only Renzi said: 'no, I like Sisi, I don't like the MuslimBrothers and I go to the economic conference in Sharm el-Sheik'. I'm not blaming Cia or the Turkish service or Qatar's, but this is notEgypt: 100%.

    Q: Why Regeni? 

    A: They had to find an Italian who could 'fit' in the story. And Regeni was very 'interesting': he was doing things with tradeunions and had been under the Interior ministry's scrutiny".


    Q: Now what should the Egyptians do, and what should Italy do? A: They should be more public with the logical explanation that I just gave you. They didn't put enough effort into public relations to defuse the tensions by promoting this point of view. Rome also has a duty to stop making it look like an achievement to put pressure on Egypt while knowing it is not the Egyptian government that did this.

    Q: Is Egypt not sufficiently helpful in the inquiry because in the Arabic culture it's impossible to admit 'I am not in control?' A: Yes. The best solution is to make it look like this episode is finished and let the secret services of both countries work even for the next two years to find out which other intelligence did this.

    Q: What is the impact of the case on the Egyptian economy?

    A: A disaster, of course. Do you know what it means to have half a million Italian tourists disappear? That's 250 million euros less income. But it is also a disaster for Italy because the more problems Egypt has, the more migrants you willreceive. A government that is under economic pressure tends to say exactly what Erdogan said to Merkel: if you don'tgive me money, I will send you one million refugees. And Egypt has three million refugees who are dying to go to Europe and are scared only of the Egyptian coastguard. But imagine what would happen if the government ordered all the guards to go the mosque at 12 o'clock each day to pray and leave the border checkpoints on the coast ...".  

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