Egypt hands over Regeni belongings to Italian prosecutors – Italian news agency

Thursday 03-11-2016 12:36 PM

Italian student Giulio Regeni's belongings allegedly found in a gang member's house - Photo from the Interior ministry

CAIRO, Nov 3 (Aswat Masriya) – Egyptian prosecutors handed over slain Italian student Giulio Regeni’s belongings to their Italian counterparts during the latter’s visit to Cairo this week, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The student’s passport, two Cambridge University cards and his ATM card were handed over, ANSA said.

Regeni had gone missing on the January 25 uprising’s fifth anniversary, and his body was later found in February by the side of a road on the outskirts of Cairo, bearing signs of torture, including cigarette burns, bruises, cuts and multiple stab wounds.

In March, Egypt’s Interior Ministry said they found Regeni’s documents in an apartment in Cairo, accusing a group of men suspected of robbing foreigners of his murder, hours after police killed several of the alleged gang members in a microbus in New Cairo.

The ministry published pictures of Regeni’s passport, along with his American University in Cairo and Cambridge University ID cards along with the statement on its official Facebook Page. The statement claimed Regeni’s credit card, two mobile phones and a brown substance that could be hashish were discovered in a red handbag in the apartment of the sister of one of the suspects. 

Italian prosecutors immediately responded at the time, saying Regeni’s case was far from closed.

“There is no definitive evidence confirming [the alleged gang] were responsible,” Italian authorities said.

On his Twitter account, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni called the handover of the documents called "positive."

"Positive visit to Cairo by Rome prosecutor. Giulio's documents returned to his family. The work continues to establish the truth," he said.

Last week, Gentiloni had said that the Regeni case was "an open wound" for Italy, ANSA reported.

“We got some signs of hope from Egyptian judicial authorities in September which Rome prosecutors interpreted as a willingness to collaborate," he said, adding that however "we are not satisfied, and it's no accident that we withdrew our ambassador in Egypt and we have not yet sent one back to Cairo."

Egypt has repeatedly denied allegations that Egyptian authorities are responsible for Regeni's murder, as the torture marks were claimed to be signatory of Egyptian security forces' practices.  The Egyptian Interior Ministry had also long denied arresting Regeni prior to his disappearance and death.

The ministry has offered an array of allegations, including one that suggests that Regeni’s murder was an act of “revenge for personal motives,” especially as he “enjoyed multiple relationships” in Egypt.

However, in September, a statement by Egypt’s prosecution general confirmed that the police investigated Regeni’s activity, but then the investigation stopped after the Italian researcher’s activity was found to be of “no interest to national security.”

Head of the Independent Street Vendors Union Mohamed Abdallah said he reported Regeni to the police early January after the latte interviewed him, because he was skeptical of some of the questions he asked him.

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