Cairo 'bows to Rome pressure' over student death probe

Cairo 'bows to Rome pressure' over student death probe
2 min read
27 March, 2016
Egyptian authorities have agreed to to extend the investigation in the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni following pressure from Rome, according to Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano.

Egyptian detectives probing the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni have agreed to extend the investigation after pressure from Rome, Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano said Sunday.

The Italian government vocally objected to Egypt's insistence on Thursday that they had identified a criminal gang linked to Regeni's murder, after killing four members and allegedly finding the student's passport in one of the suspect's apartments.

Italian media and Western diplomatic sources in Cairo have voiced suspicions that Egyptian security services kidnapped and tortured to death the 28-year-old Cambridge University graduate student.

"It is important that in the face of our emphasis on the quest for truth, the Egyptians changed tack in a few hours and told us that their investigations are continuing," Alfano told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

"Our investigators should be directly involved, participating in questioning and evidence gathering... Our input is essential.

"I repeat to Giulio's parents and to the Italian public that the Italian government will get the name of the murderers."

On Saturday, Egyptian prosecutors ordered the detention of four people in relation to Regeni's case, a prosecution official said.

Two of them are the wife and a sister of the leader of the slain gang members, while the other two are his brother-in-law and brother.

I repeat to Giulio's parents and to the Italian public that the Italian government will get the name of the murderers.
- Angelino Alfano

The four suspects are accused of concealing a crime and being in the possession of stolen material, the official said, adding they were taken into custody for four days.

Regeni disappeared in central Cairo on January 25. His body was found nine days later on the side of a motorway, badly mutilated and showing signs of torture.

According to Italian government sources, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised the student's parents that Rome will continue to put pressure on Egypt to establish the facts of his death.

Quoted by Italian press, Regeni's parents previously said they were "injured and bitter" at the Egyptian authorities' latest attempt to explain their son's murder.