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26.03.2016 Egypt

Italy unhappy with Egyptian explanation of student's death

By AFP
Protesters hold an Italian flag with photos of Giulio Regeni, during a demonstration in front of the Egypt's embassy in Rome, on February 25, 2016.  By Filippo Monteforte (AFP/File)
LISTEN MAR 26, 2016
Protesters hold an Italian flag with photos of Giulio Regeni, during a demonstration in front of the Egypt's embassy in Rome, on February 25, 2016. By Filippo Monteforte (AFP/File)

Rome (AFP) - Italy has cast doubt on Egypt's explanation for the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni, after Egyptian police said they had killed four gang members and found the victim's passport at one of their apartments.

"Italy insists: we want the truth," said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on his Twitter feed late Friday, while prosecutors in Rome rejected the latest conclusions of the Egyptian probe.

Italian media and western diplomatic sources in Cairo have voiced suspicions that Egyptian security services kidnapped and tortured to death the Cambridge University graduate whose mutilated body was found in Cairo in January.

On Thursday, Egyptian police said they had identified people linked to Regeni's murder, after killing four members of a criminal gang and finding the victim's passport at one of their apartments.

Regeni disappeared on January 25 in central Cairo. His body was found nine days later on the side of a motorway, badly mutilated and showing signs of torture.

Rome prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone said in a statement that "details communicated so far are not satisfactory to shed light on the death of Giulio Regeni. Investigations must therefore continue."

According to Italian government sources, premier Matteo Renzi has promised the parents of the young student that Rome will continue to put pressure on Egypt to establish the full truth behind his death.

"Italy will never content itself with anything less than the truth, the whole truth, without shadows or mystery," a source within the prime minister's office said.

Quoted by Italian press, Regeni's parents said they were "injured and bitter" at Egyptian authorities' latest attempt to explain their son's death.

Regeni, 28, had been researching labour movements in Egypt, a sensitive topic, and had written articles critical of the government under a pen name.

The incident threatened relations between Egypt and Italy, a strong supporter of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi whose security services have been accused of abusing dissidents.

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