The two-day meeting held between Egyptian and Italian prosecutors in Rome on Thursday and Friday to review investigations into the death of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni disclosed new outcomes and evidence in the case.
This was the third meeting to be held between both sides, following the death of Regeni, 28, in Cairo in early February, after going missing on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution. His body, which had signs of torture, was found in a ditch on the Cairo-Alexandria Road.
During the meeting, Egyptian prosecutors handed Italy transcripts of phone records from Regeni’s phone before his disappearance and other information gathered through their investigations. In a statement, carried by news agencies in Egypt and Italy, the prosecution said for the first time that Regeni had been investigated by security officials in January.
A report filed by the independent syndicate for street vendors to the Egyptian police triggered an investigation into Regeni, the statement read.
However, the Egyptian prosecutors claimed those interrogations did not last for more than three days, after no evidence was found that would suggest Regeni was a threat to national security.
This latest information comes after Egyptian authorities had denied repeatedly that they were involved in Regeni’s death. The Interior Ministry impugned in several statements after Regeni’s death the involvement of security officials in the incident.
Regeni’s family, on the other hand, and the Italian media pinned the blame for Regeni’s death on Egyptian security personnel, after it was revealed that the Italian student had been severely tortured in the days leading up to his death.
The prosecutors’ statement also countered the Interior Ministry’s narrative regarding the killing of five Egyptians in Al-Salam city for being involved in Regeni’s death.
In late March, the Interior Ministry announced in an official statement that the five men were killed for being involed in Regeni’s death, claiming that Regeni’s belongings were found in one of the accused’s homes.
Egyptian prosecutors denied this claim and said there are “weak links” between the death of the five men and the death of Regeni, the statement read.
In response, families of the deceased told local news website Al-Bedaiah that they intend to file a lawsuit to investigate the unjust killing of their relatives.
Egypt’s general prosecutor Nabil Sadek said the outcome of the meeting was fruitful as both parties exchanged vital information in the case, according to the statement. This breakthrough comes after months of stalling from the Egyptian side.
Regarding the metro footage being sought after in the investigation, both sides vowed to cooperate to end the technical obstacles delaying the process. Regeni was last seen at Al-Behoos metro station before his disappearance.
Both parties also agreed to continue investigations in all possible directions to locate the Regeni’s killers.