CAIRO, Sept 11 (Aswat Masriya) - Head of the Independent Street Vendors Union Mohamed Abdallah said he was prompted to report slain Italian student Giulio Regeni to the police because he was skeptical of some of the questions he asked him.
A statement by Egypt’s prosecution general said on Friday that the union’s head had reported the Italian researcher to the police early January, a few weeks prior to his disappearance and death.
The police investigated Regeni’s activity based on the union’s head’s claims but then the investigation stopped after the Italian researcher’s activity was found to be of “no interest to national security.”
Abdallah, who was interviewed by Regeni, told Aswat Masriya that he felt that Regeni’s questions were "illogical" and irrelevant to his doctoral degree but had “another objective.”
He however refused to provide details on the nature of these questions.
Abdallah said it was not his first time to help researchers on street vendors as he studied journalism and understands what the job entails, however Regeni’s questions “were not about street vendors but diverted from the main theme and had other objectives.”
The young Italian doctoral researcher went missing in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2016, which marked the fifth anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
Ten days later, Regeni's body was found, bearing signs of torture, in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of Cairo.
Last Thursday, Egypt’s prosecution general headed to Rome amid complaints from Italy about Egypt’s lack of cooperation in the investigation into the death of Regeni.
"We are honest Egyptians," Abdallah said, "I am not an informant but I believe I am protecting my country."
He added that he submitted documents to the police that support his claims which he cannot disclose since they are under investigation by the prosecution.
Abdallah said he does not believe the police was behind Regeni’s death and blamed “third parties” for his murder.