Egypt, Italy discuss case of murdered student Giulio Regeni for first time in six months

Egypt, Italy discuss case of murdered student Giulio Regeni for first time in six months
The Egyptian Prosecution has reportedly requested assistance from its Italian counterparts in investigating the abduction, torture and slaying of Italian student Giulio Regeni.
2 min read
02 July, 2020
Egypt has denied that its police were involved in Giulio Regeni's abduction [AFP/Getty]
Egypt's Attorney General Hamada El-Sawy has discussed the case of murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni with his Italian counterpart for the first time in six months, The New Arab's Arabic-language service reported Thursday.

The Egyptian Prosecution has requested assistance from its Italian counterparts in investigating the abduction, torture and slaying of Regeni, who disappeared in Cairo in 2016 while doing academic research, it said in a statement.

Egypt's attorney general expressed his desire to uncover the truth of what happened to Regeni, the statement said.

The Italian Justice Ministry said it looked forward to more serious steps being taken by Egypt.

They added that Italy's Public Prosecution in Rome is ready to study the request for assistance sent from the Egyptian Public Prosecution Thursday morning.

The two sides had not met on the issue since the beginning of this year. 

Italy had given a green light to the sale of two warships to Egypt in mid-June despite tense relations between the two countries over the unresolved 2016 murder.

The $1.2 billion sale of the frigates to Egypt has drawn sharp rebukes from the family of Giulio Regeni.

In January, Egypt's prosecutor general said a new commission would be established to look into the 2016 killing of the Italian student.

Giulio Regeni, then aged 28, disappeared in Cairo in January 2016. His body was found on the outskirts of Cairo a few days later, mutilated and showing signs of torture.

After Regeni's body was repatriated, an autopsy found numerous fractures, including of the skull, indicating that he had died under torture.

Egypt has faced accusations that a member of its security forces murdered the student, who was researching trade unions - a sensitive topic in the country.

Cairo has denied those claims, first saying he had died in a traffic accident then saying he had been killed by a criminal gang.

The case strained the traditionally close relations between Cairo and Rome, which has accused Egypt of insufficient cooperation in the investigation.

Italian prosecutors alleged in June that Egyptian officials deliberately misled the probe into the murder, spinning a web of "fake stories" to undermine investigators.

Since late 2018, Italian prosecutors have called for Egypt to hand over five intelligence and police officials or at least cooperate in prosecuting them in Italy.

In April 2016, Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt, sending a new one almost a year later.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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