Italy-Egypt talks on student's murder to take place on April 7-8

Egyptian prosecutors and policemen will meet with Italian counterparts in Rome at the end of this week to discuss investigations into the murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian PhD student found dead in Cairo two months ago.

According to an Italian police statement, two Egyptian magistrates and three police officers will be in the Italian capital on Thursday and Friday to "take stock" of investigations and "examine related documentation."

Rome prosecutors investigating the murder, as well members of special investigative units from the state police and Carabinieri police are going to represent the Italian side at the meeting, the statement added.

Talks were initially planned for Tuesday.

Egyptian newspaper Al Shorouk, quoting unnamed security officials, said that authorities in Cairo had prepared a 2,000-page dossier on the case ahead of the meeting.

Its reported contents, however, appeared unlikely to satisfy the Italian side, who have repeatedly rejected various explanations of the killing advanced by Egyptian officials.

The case "branched into several criminal directions," the report said, including foreign friends of Regeni who left Egypt after his body was discovered, an alleged band of robbers killed by Cairo police last month, and the young researcher's "multiple relationships with persons during the short period he spent in Egypt."

Rights groups and opposition politicians have alleged, however, that Egyptian state security agencies likely had a hand in Regeni's murder.

The New York Times quoted an eye witness and two security officials as saying that the young man was arrested by security forces on the day he disappeared.

Regeni, who moved to Cairo in September to do research for Cambridge University on Egypt's trade union movement, disappeared on January 25.

His body was found on the outskirts of the city on February 3, with Italian officials later saying it showed clear signs of torture.

His disappearance coincided with the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ousted longtime dictator Hosny Mubarak, a day when Egypt's massive security apparatus was on high alert to prevent possible demonstrations.

The death has attracted renewed scrutiny of Egypt's record under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.

Egypt has denied any involvement of its state apparatus and promised to fully investigate the affair, but there has been friction with Rome over the lack of progress and implausible explanations offered by Egyptian officials and media.

Last update: Mon, 04/04/2016 - 19:01

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