CAIRO, Feb 15 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's ambassador in Italy said that Egypt is fully cooperating with the Italian team involved in investigating the killing of Italian student Giulio Regeni, in a statement issued on Monday.
The high profile killing of Regni has been at the centre of international media reports. The 28-year-old Ph.D. student was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo. He disappeared on Jan. 25, on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Uprising that toppled former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
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.
Italy demanded an immediate joint investigation and on Feb. 5, sent out a team of investigators to collaborate with Egyptian authorities on Regeni’s case.
Egyptian Ambassador Amr Helmy denied that Regeni was arrested by Egyptian authorities before his killing, in a foreign ministry statement emailed to Aswat Masriya. He described reports that suggest that the Italian student was arrested as "false" and "baseless".
One of these reports was published by The New York Times on Friday and is titled "Death of Student, Guilio Regeni, Highlights Perils for Egyptians, Too." It cited three security officials as saying that Regeni was "taken into custody, bolstering Italian suspicions of an official hand in his death" but did not name the officials.
Helmy said Regeni was not detained at "any stage" by Egyptian security forces, following suit with the Egyptian interior ministry which also denied Regeni's arrest earlier on Monday.
The interior ministry said "some Western newspapers" have published "completely false" news on the conditions of Regeni's disappearance.
Regeni had been in Egypt since September to research trade unions in the country. On Feb. 4, Italy's foreign ministry summoned Egypt’s ambassador to Italy to express "shock" over his "tragic death" of Regeni, the Italian ministry said in an official statement on its website.