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Egypt drags feet at Cairo-Rome Regeni meeting

Image of the Italian student and researcher Giulio Regen [File photo]
Italian student and researcher Giulio Regeni [File photo]

A meeting yesterday between the Egyptian public prosecutor and the general prosecutor in Rome regarding the Giulio Regeni murder did not achieve any significant results, a source has told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

The Egyptian team, however, issued a statement denying disagreements between them and stating that Cairo has nothing to hide.

Regeni, who was conducting research into independent trade unions in Cairo, was tortured to death in 2016 on the anniversary of the Egyptian uprising in what is widely believed to have been carried out by members of Egypt's security agencies.

Egypt has consistently failed to investigate the incident properly whilst Italy has secured huge arms and trade deals despite Regeni's family repeatedly calling on authorities to cool relations until the murder is solved.

The Italian prime minister, says Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, is exploiting the case to secure more lucrative arms deals for Italian companies. In 2019 Egypt purchased three times more weapons, spare parts and military software from Italy compared to the year before.

Regeni's father has asked that the ambassador to Cairo be withdrawn and that the arms sales are decreased.

READ: Egypt: Photojournalist Mohamed El Raai missing since Wednesday

At yesterday's meeting, Italy demanded information on the five officers it suspects were involved in kidnapping and killing Regeni; details it has been requesting since December 2018, including on Major General Khaled Shalabi, currently assistant interior minister for North Upper Egypt, and Major General Tariq Saber, who at the time worked as a director in the national security agency.

The meeting follows an additional request sent last week by the general prosecutor's office in Rome to Egypt's public prosecutor for information on three policemen whose names came up for the first time during investigations into the torture of Regeni.

The policemen were working for national security at the time when Regeni was studying at the AUC and are believed to have managed the Italian student's case and formed a network of informants around him. including his colleague, flatmate and head of the street vendors' union.

Sources said that Italy is mulling the idea of submitting the names of these officers to Interpol if Egypt does not cooperate and reveal what really happened.

The Italian delegation said it presented extensive responses to Egyptian requests and questions.

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