Italy's top prosecutor to arrive in Cairo Monday

Sunday 13-03-2016 07:21 PM

Italian student Giulio Regeni - Facebook Photo

CAIRO, Mar 13 (Aswat Masriya) – Italy's top prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone is set to arrive in Cairo Monday to follow up on investigations related to slain Italian student Guilio Regeni, said Egypt's ambassador to Italy.

Ambassador Amr Helmy said Pignatone will be heading an official delegation to look into the progress of the investigation process.

Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian Ph.D. student in Cambridge University, disappeared on Jan. 25, which marked the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Uprising that toppled former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Regeni was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo, and his research focused on independent trade unions.

Ten days later, his body was found in a ditch along the side of the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, marred by torture marks and bruises in different places, according to Egyptian prosecutors.

Egypt is yet to reveal any information related to the circumstances behind his death and has been subjected to heavy international criticism over the incident.

Italian Justice Minister Andrea Orlando said Pignatone's presence in Cairo to probe Regeni's murder "is a sign of the determination of the Italian judicial authorities to get to the bottom of the affair," Italian news agency ANSA reported.

Last week, the European Parliament called for the suspension of security cooperation and assistance with Egyptian authorities in the light of Regeni's death.

The parliament expressed "outrage" at the "abduction and savage torture" of Regeni. Italian Interior Minister told Italian news agency Sky TG24 in an interview last month that Regeni was subjected to "inhumane and animal-like" violence.

The European Parliament's resolution was passed by a majority, 588 votes in favour.

The resolution said Regeni's death comes "within a context of a dramatic increase in reports of torture in police detention stations and other cases of death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt under the current leadership."

In response, Egypt said the European Parliament's statements on torture and enforced disappearances in Egypt were not backed by any "evidence".

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