Egypt to admit spying on murdered Italian student Regeni

Egypt to admit spying on murdered Italian student Regeni
4 min read
02 April, 2016
Egyptian authorities will hand over to Rome a file containing results of investigations and surveillance on Giulio Regeni since his arrival in Cairo, admitting he had been specifically targeted.
The Italian government rejected Egypt's accounts and insisted on finding the truth [Pacific Press]
 
Egyptian authorities will admit at a highly anticipated Rome meeting that they had indeed kept tabs on Italian student Giulio Regeni before he was tortured to death, Egyptian media has reported.

In the upcoming meeting on Tuesday, an Egyptian delegation will hand over to Rome's chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone a "comprehensive file" containing results of investigations and surveillance on Regeni since his arrival in Cairo, security sources told state-run Egyptian daily Akhbar el-Yom.

The file will include documents and photos gathered by Egyptian security authorities on meetings by the slain researcher with workers and trade union representatives, the subject of his Cambridge University doctoral thesis.

Rome prosecutors will also request phone records of 10 of Regeni's friends and acquaintances to help reconstruct his last days, judicial sources told Italian website ANSAmed.

In addition, the file compiled by Egyptian investigators will include details on the alleged criminals who were killed last month in a shoot-out with Egyptian police thought to be in relation to Regeni's case.

According to an earlier statement by Egypt's interior ministry, the police managed to track down Regeni's possessions in a bag at the home of one of the "gang members", where one of their wives confessed the bag belonged to her slain husband.

However, the Italian government vocally objected to the vastly contradictory accounts put forward by the Egyptian authorities and insisted on finding the truth.

The file will include documents and photos gathered by Egyptian security authorities on meetings by the slain researcher with workers and trade union representatives, the subject of his Cambridge University doctoral thesis.

Egyptian detectives eventually bowed to Rome's pressure and agreed to extend the investigation.

"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," Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano told the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The mother of Khalid Said, whose death at the hands of police
helped spark Egypt's
2011 revolution, sent an emotional 
video message to Regeni's parents.
The New Arab cannot be held responsible for
content uploaded
to third-party sites [Januarians Group]

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

Regeni went missing on the evening of 25 January, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

His mutilated body was found a week later at the side of a road on Cairo's outskirts, suggesting he died at the hands of security services during an interrogation, an allegation the Egyptian government has strongly denied.

Tourism suspended

In a press conference at the Italian Senate on Wednesday, Luigi Manconi, president of the human rights commission, said that if Cairo failed to hand over key evidence to their Italian counterparts in the upcoming meeting on 5 April, Italy should consider recalling its ambassador to Egypt for consultation.

Manconi also said that Italy's foreign ministry would have to declare Egypt an "unsafe country", which would undoubtedly have a significant effect on the numbers of tourists there.

Italian tourism in Egypt has already been affected by the repercussions of Regeni's case.

The Italian Association for Responsible Tourism has recently announced the suspension of all activities in Egypt until the truth behind tragic murder of Regeni is clarified.

The Italian Association for Responsible Tourism (AITR), which promotes "responsible, sustainable and ethical" tourism, has recently announced the suspension of all activities in Egypt until the truth behind tragic murder of Regeni is clarified.

"Egypt is a beautiful country that offers great cultural attractions and sensations, whether in a journey or a vacation," the non-profit association said in a statement signed by its president Maurizio Davolio.

"But journeys and vacations are not possible in a context of pain and indignation."

AITR added that it hoped for honest collaboration that would lead to prompt resolution of the case.

"This will restore all relations in a context of mutual respect and trust, and hopefully security too."

Protesters have drawn parallels between Regeni's death and that of Khaled Said, whose murder by a pair of police officers became a focal point of opposition groups in the build-up to the 2011 revolution [Getty]