(ANSA) - Rome - Egyptian authorities have turned
down a request from Rome prosecutors probing the Cairo torture
and murder of Giulio Regeni to be present at the questioning of
Egyptian police officers who carried out investigations into the
Friuli-born Cambridge University researcher.
They said Egyptian law forbids the presence of foreign
magistrates during judicial activity.
Regeni's parents Claudio and Paola were informed of the
refusal during a meeting Friday with Rome chief prosecutor
Giuseppe Pignatone and his assistant Sergio Colaiocco.
Cairo prosecutors have, however, sent their Italian
counterparts a second report on testimony from the seven
policemen who probed Regeni, who disappeared on January 25 2016
and whose mutilated body was found on the road to Alexandria
eight days later.
The testimony is a summary of what the agents said and not
their testimony in full, judicial sources said.
Italian magistrates are hoping for a third tranche of
documents, starting with questioning of the national security
chief who investigated Regeni a few days before his
disappearance, as well as testimony given in March 2016 by the
agent who searched the home of the alleged head of a kidnapping
gang suspected of abducting and robbing foreigners.
Regeni, 28, went missing in the Egyptian capital on January
25, 2016, on the heavily policed fifth anniversary of the
uprising that ousted former strongman and president Hosni
His severely tortured, 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.
Regeni was researching street vendors' trade unions, a
Egyptian and Italian prosecutors have been working on the
case but Rome has yet to send a new ambassador to Cairo in
protest at the lack of progress.
"Italy has mourned the killing of one of its studious young
people, Giulio Regeni, without full light being shed on this
tragic case for a year and despite the intense efforts of our
judiciary and our diplomacy," President Sergio Mattarella said
on the first anniversary of Regeni's disappearance.
"We call for broader and more effective cooperation so that
the culprits are brought to justice".
Premier Paolo Gentiloni expressed his support for Regeni's
family and said his government was determined to get to the
Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano echoed his words and said
that the young man's death "deprives all of us of a generous
heart that could have done a great deal for others".
The message on the foreign ministry website said that "the
tragic death of Giulio Regeni is still an open wound not only
for his family, who remain in our thoughts, but for our entire
A video recently surfaced in which the head of the Cairo
street traders' union, Mohammed Abdallah, secretly filmed
Regeni asking him questions about the union using a police
Abdallah said he was doing his patriotic duty because Regeni,
he said, was a spy.
Egypt has furnished several explanations for Regeni's death
ranging from a car accident to a gay fight to a kidnapping, all
of which have been dismissed by Italy.
Suspicion has fallen on seven members of the Egyptian police
and intelligence services who used Abdallah as an informant and
who later were responsible for wiping out the alleged kidnapping gang.
Regeni's personal documents were allegedly found in the house
of the sister of one of the alleged gang's members.
There seem to have been signs of Egyptian cooperation on
Giulio Regeni's death thanks to the work of Rome prosecutors but
there is absolutely no evidence of true cooperation from
Egyptian authorities, Regeni's parents said recently.
Paola and Claudio Regeni urged that Italy's ambassador to
Cairo not return to Egypt, since this "would give a signal of
detente that must not be given", and stressed the importance of
not sending Egypt spare parts for F35 fighter jets until justice
has been served.