Murdered Italian's family: No meeting planned with Egypt officials

The family of the university researcher murdered in Cairo two months ago said Thursday that no meeting was planned with an Egyptian delegation visiting Rome to discuss investigations with Italian prosecutors and police.

The parents of Giulio Regeni have "so far not been contacted for a meeting by Egyptian investigators currently in Italy," family lawyer Alessandra Ballerini was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm, citing an unnamed judicial official, reported earlier that the delegation from Cairo would "offer condolences to the family and answer any questions they want to ask."

The Egyptian delegation landed in the Italian capital late Wednesday before starting a two-day round of talks with Rome Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone and other Italian magistrates and investigators shortly before 11 am (0900 GMT).

A joint comminique was due to be released at the end of the consultations Friday. On the first day, Italian authorities informed their peers about evidence found on Regeni's computer and results from his autopsy, a source told ANSA.

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

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, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Tuesday.

Amid calls from Regeni's parents to recall the ambassador to Cairo and declare Egypt unsafe for tourism, Gentiloni threatened "immediate and proportional" actions unless Cairo showed real determination to get to the bottom of the affair.

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 Hosny Mubarak.

Seven days later, the 28-year-old was found dead, with what Italian officials who later inspected the body said were clear signs of torture. The revelations have renewed scrutiny of Egypt's rights record under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.

On Wednesday, the La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers said the police general who initially investigated the death, Khaled Shalabi, had ordered Regeni's abduction and torture, and La Repubblica reported that al-Sissi and other top officials sanctioned the move.

However, Egyptian news site Mada Masr noted that the information, said to have come from an anonymous informant in Cairo, was very similar to a Facebook message posted in February by a controversial former Egyptian police officer now living in the United States.

Last update: Thu, 07/04/2016 - 18:49
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