Italy warns Egypt it expects truth about death of student

Italy warned today it was prepared to take "immediate and proportional measures" against Egypt if it fails to come clean with all it knows about the torture and death of an Italian graduate student in Cairo.

AFP| Last Updated: Apr 05, 2016, 20:32 PM IST

Rome: Italy warned today it was prepared to take "immediate and proportional measures" against Egypt if it fails to come clean with all it knows about the torture and death of an Italian graduate student in Cairo.

Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told the Senate the meetings this week in Rome between Italian and Egyptian prosecutors could be "decisive" to filling in gaps in the investigation of the death of Giulio Regeni.

The 28-year-old researcher was abducted on a Cairo street on January 25, when police were out in force as Egyptians marked the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Speculation mounted that Egypt's security forces were involved after Regeni's brutally tortured body was found nine days later.

Gentiloni repeated Italian criticism that Egyptian authorities hadn't provided full information to date, saying Italian prosecutors in particular wanted missing documentation concerning Regeni's cellphone use and the closed-circuit video footage of the Cairo area from where he was believed snatched. "If there isn't a change, the government is ready to react by adopting immediate and proportional measures," Gentiloni warned.

He said Italy wanted the truth, not convenient excuses.

In Cairo, Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said the Egyptian delegation would depart for Italy tomorrow, led by his assistant, Judge Mustafa Suleiman.

The delegation is expected to also include another prosecutor and three security officers, the Italian agency ANSA said.

An Egyptian security official said there was a conflict between the security and judicial agencies on who would lead the team and what to present to the Italians.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, told The Associated Press that prosecutors were concerned that the security agencies had attempted to "keep information" and not present it to the Italian side.

Weeks after Regeni's body was found, Egyptian authorities linked the killing to a criminal gang, saying they found the Italian student's personal belongings in a suspect's home after a shootout that killed all the gang's members.

But Italian media immediately dismissed the claim. Regeni's parents said the Egyptian explanation rang hollow and even Egypt's top state newspaper criticized the "naive stories" being offered about the death and urged Egyptian authorities to deal seriously with the case.