Skip to main content

Cairo 'continues probe' into Italian student's death on pressure from Rome

Italy disputes Egypt's conclusion that criminal gang posing as police tortured Giulio Regeni to death
Police stand guard outside the Zeinhom Morgue in Cairo, where Regeni's body was taken (AFP)

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 on 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 finding the student's passport in one of the suspect's apartments.

Egyptian authorities have said the gang dressed up in police uniforms to kidnap and rob foreigners.

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 names of the murderers."

Regeni disappeared in central Cairo on 25 January, when security was tight in the city in anticipation of protests to mark the fifth anniversary of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. 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 has promised the student's parents that Italy 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.

Stay informed with MEE's newsletters

Sign up to get the latest alerts, insights and analysis, starting with Turkey Unpacked

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.