Egypt says cooperation with Italy "ongoing" amid accusations over Regeni's case

Tuesday 12-04-2016 01:58 PM

A protester holds a sign that reads "Regeni, al-Gindy, the same history with the same pain," at a vigil to mourn the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni whose body was found along the side of a desert road outside Cairo. (ASWAT MASRIYA/Jihad

Photographer Jihad Abaza

CAIRO, Apr 12 (Aswat Masriya) - Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said on Tuesday that cooperation with Italy on the investigation into an Italian student's murder in Egypt is ongoing, after Italian media and officials claimed that Cairo's narrative on the case was not convincing.   

Shukri said in a joint press conference he held with his Burundian counterpart that Egypt and Italy were taking part in "exceptional cooperation."

The statement comes shortly after the Italian foreign ministry recalled Ambassador Maurizio Massari on Friday following “recent developments in the investigation" into Giulio Regeni's murder, the Italian ministry had said in a statement published on its website Friday, referring to the"meetings held in Rome ... between Italian and Egyptian investigators" a day earlier.

“Urgent decisions are needed on the most proper actions to bolster efforts aimed at finding the truth about the barbaric murder of Giulio Regeni,” the Italian foreign ministry added.

An Egyptian delegation comprised of security and judicial officials was on a visit to Rome, to discuss Egyptian investigators' findings on Regeni's case, when Italy recalled its ambassador.

Shukri said on Tuesday that Italy set forth a list of demands during the visit and that Egypt has responded to all of them, except for one demand that contradicts the Egyptian constitution.

Italy demanded that Egypt give it records of Regeni's phone calls, Egypt's assistant prosecutor general had said in a press conference. 

Shukri stated in the Tuesday press conference that Egypt will act with transparency with regards to the case, but that investigations are expected to take a long time.

Several media reports have accused Egyptian security forces of torturing the Italian student to death. The interior ministry has denied any responsibility for the incident.

Regeni, who was a 28-year-old Ph.D. student researching independent trade unions in Egypt, disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Uprising, which had led to the ouster of the former Hosni Mubarak. 

Regeni's deceased body was found 10 days later, bearing torture marks, bruises, and cigarette burns.  

On Mar. 25, the Egyptian interior ministry said that it killed gang members in a shootout who may have a link to Regeni's murder. 

The police allegedly found Regeni's personal belongings in the apartment of a gang member's relative, a ministerial statement said.

Regeni’s family ruled out criminal gain as a motive for the Italian student’s murder, while Regeni's mother said in a press conference that what happened to her son was not "an isolated incident." and is part of a continuum of human rights abuses in Egypt.

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