Report: Egypt officials want to meet slain Italian student's family

An Egyptian delegation visiting Italian prosecutors and police in Rome to discuss investigations into the brutal murder of university researcher Giulio Regeni would also like to meet his family, a report said Thursday.

"The team members will offer condolences to the family and answer any questions they want to ask," an unnamed judicial official was quoted as saying by independent Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm.

"The team will confirm that if any person is found implicated in the murder, he will be put on trial," the source added.

The Egyptian delegation landed in the Italian capital late Wednesday before starting a two-day round of talks with Rome Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone and other Italian magistrates and investigators shortly before 11 am (0900 GMT).

Rome has complained that Cairo has been reluctant to shed light on the crime, and Italian media has dismissed several explanations offered by Egyptian officials as attempts to cover up the likely involvement of state security agencies.

Italian investigators want Egyptian authorities to provide mobile phone data tracking Regeni's movements and video footage from the Cairo underground station he is believed to have entered on the day of his disappearance, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Tuesday.

Amid calls from Regeni's parents to recall the ambassador to Cairo and declare Egypt unsafe for tourism, Gentiloni threatened "immediate and proportional" actions unless Cairo showed real determination to get to the bottom of the affair.

Regeni, who was in Cairo to research trade unions, disappeared on January 25, a day on which Egypt's security services were on high alert for possible demonstrations to mark the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Hosny Mubarak.

Seven days later, the 28-year-old was found dead, with what Italian officials who later inspected the body said were clear signs of torture. The revelations have renewed scrutiny of Egypt's rights record under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.

On Wednesday, the La Repubblica and La Stampa newspapers said the police general who initially investigated the death, Khaled Shalabi, had ordered Regeni's abduction and torture, and La Repubblica reported that al-Sissi and other top officials sanctioned the move.

However, Egyptian news site Mada Masr noted that the information, said to have come from an anonymous informant in Cairo, was very similar to a Facebook message posted in February by a controversial former Egyptian police officer now living in the United States.

Last update: Thu, 07/04/2016 - 18:36

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