Egyptian authorities 'to admit' they kept tabs on Regeni

Italian investigators to ask for phone records of 10 in Rome

01 April, 23:59

    The ID documents of Giulio Regeni that were allegedly found in a house by Egyptian police The ID documents of Giulio Regeni that were allegedly found in a house by Egyptian police

    (By Denis Greenan).
    ROME- Egyptian authorities are set to admit at a keenly awaited Rome meeting on Giulio Regeni that they kept tabs on the Cambridge University researcher before he was tortured and murdered, Egyptian media said on Friday. At that 'summit' on Tuesday, Rome prosecutors will ask for the phone and cellphone records of 10 of Regeni's friends and acquaintances to help reconstruct his last days, judicial sources said in Rome.

    An "exhaustive dossier" that an "Egyptian security delegation" will hand over to Rome prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone on Tuesday will contain the results of investigations by security forces into meetings which the murdered researcher - who was working as a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo - had with street traders and trade unionists in the Egyptian capital, Egyptian daily Al-Akhbar reported on Friday.

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

    The Italian government has said it will not accept a "convenient truth" and several versions from Egypt about how Regeni might have died have caused incredulity. The most recent one was that he was murdered by a gang specialising in kidnapping foreigners who, in turn, were killed by the security forces.

    Egyptian and Italian investigators are meeting next week after Rome called for more cooperation in the investigation.

    Al-Akhbar said the dossier will include evidence from Regeni's friends and "many documents and important information" including photos and "all the investigations on Regeni from his arrival in Cairo to his disappearance".

    Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni will brief the Lower House on developments in the case on Tuesday at 16:00, sources said Friday.

    Regeni's mother said Tuesday she had seen "the world's evil" on her son's face.

    "At the mortuary I only recognized Giulio by the tip of his nose," Paola Deffendi told a press conference at the Senate in Rome.

    "What they did to him is unspeakable".

    "In Italy we have not seen torture since (the time of) anti-Fascism, but Giulio was not at war - he went to do research," Deffendi added.

    She continued by saying the family trusts in a firm response from the government should Egyptian investigators fail to come up with convincing answers at the meeting with their Italian colleagues in Rome on April 5.

    "If April 5 turns out to be an empty day we trust in a strong response from our government - a very, very strong one," she said. "We have been waiting for answers about Giulio since January 25".

    The Italian media has speculated the government might recall its ambassador from Cairo or even go as far as imposing economic sanctions if Egypt keeps up the alleged stonewalling on the case.

    Egyptian government critics and human rights organisations have suggested Regeni was tortured and killed by a security-forces cell because of his research work with the trade union movement and the opposition, like many others.

    Regeni's body had signs of torture all over it, including cigarette burns, multiple fractures, cuts under the soles of the feet, clipped ears, a torn fingernail and a torn toenail.


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