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Italy Recalls Ambassador, Egypt Denies Being ‘Officially Notified’ of Decision

Italy Recalls Ambassador, Egypt Denies Being ‘Officially Notified’ of Decision

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By Aswat Masriya

Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday that it “has not yet been officially notified of the recalling of the Italian ambassador in Egypt to Rome for consultations” as tensions heighten over the murder of an Italian student whose body was found in Cairo bearing signs of torture.

Giulio Regeni, 28, was a Ph.D. student researching trade unions in Egypt. He went missing in Cairo on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising and his body was found in February in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital.

The Italian foreign ministry announced earlier today in a statement that it has recalled Ambassador Maurizio Massari for consultations following “recent developments in the investigation into the Regeni murder case and specifically the meetings held in Rome yesterday and today between Italian and Egyptian investigators.”

“Urgent decisions are needed on the most proper actions to bolster efforts aimed at finding the truth about the barbaric murder of Giulio Regeni,” the ministry added in its statement.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid responded in an official statement on Friday saying that “no statement has been issued yet regarding the results of the meeting between the Egyptian and Italian investigation teams.”

An Egyptian delegation comprising security and judicial officials headed for Rome on Wednesday to meet with Italian officials to discuss Egyptian investigators’ findings regarding Regeni’s case.

They presented a 2000-page case report that includes testimonies of 200 witnesses with alleged connections to the victim, Italian news agency ANSA said.

The Egyptian delegation which is currently in Rome includes Egypt’s Deputy Public Prosecutor Mostafa Soliman, International Cooperation Prosecutor Mohamed Hamdi el-Sayed, National Security General Adel Gaafar and two high-ranking police officials named as Alaa Abdel Megid and Mostafa Meabed, ANSA added.

Though it is not yet clear who was behind Regeni’s murder, several media reports have accused Egyptian security forces of torturing the Italian student to death.

The interior ministry denied, however, any responsibility for the incident.

On Mar. 25, the interior ministry said that it killed gang members in a shootout who may have a link to Regeni’s murder.

The police allegedly found Regeni’s personal belongings in the apartment of a gang members’ relative, a statement by the ministry said then.

But Regeni’s family ruled out criminal gain as a motive for the Italian student’s murder.

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Aswat Masriya is a Thomson Reuters Foundation-sponsored website that covers Egypt's transition to democracy. en.aswatmasriya.com

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