Italy, Egypt to begin talks in Rome on Regeni murder case

Published April 7th, 2016 - 10:30 GMT
Two-day talks are set to begin in Rome between Italy and Egypt over the murder case of Italian student Giulio Regeni. (File photo)
Two-day talks are set to begin in Rome between Italy and Egypt over the murder case of Italian student Giulio Regeni. (File photo)

Egyptian and Italian prosecutors and police are to start a two-day round of talks in Rome on Thursday to speed up the investigation in the case of Giulio Regeni, an Italian university researcher brutally killed in Cairo two months ago.

The Egyptian delegation landed in the Italian capital late Wednesday and was to meet at 10 am (0800 GMT) with Rome chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone and other Italian magistrates and investigators.

"We wait for the magistrates to hold their meetings, we are ready to follow that work with great determination. No attempt to wriggle out of the truth will be accepted," Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told Il Mattino newspaper on Wednesday. 

Rome has complained that Cairo has been reluctant to shed light on the crime, and Italian media has dismissed several implausible explanations conjured up by Egyptian officials as attempts to cover up the likely involvement of state security agencies.

Regeni, who was in Cairo to research trade unions, disappeared on January 25, a day on which Egypt's security services were on high alert for possible demonstrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Seven days later, the 28-year-old was found dead, and Italian officials saw clear signs of torture on his body. The revelations have renewed scrutiny of Egypt's rights record under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.

On Tuesday, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni threatened "immediate and proportional" measures against Egypt unless Cairo showed real determination to get to the bottom of the affair. 

Italian investigators want Egyptian authorities to provide mobile phone data tracking Regeni's movements and video footage from the Cairo underground station he is believed to have entered on the day of his disappearance, the minister said. 


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