An allegedly leaked video of an interaction between a representative of the street vendors’ union and slain Italian student Giulio Regeni was aired by Egyptian state television on Monday night.
The edited video, which records an interaction between union representative Mohamed Abdallah and Regeni, has been described as peculiar by many.
In the version aired by Egyptian state television, Regeni is repeatedly asked by Abdallah for funds from an unidentified British foundation.
“I need the money to pay for a surgery for my wife who has cancer. I will do anything,” says Abdallah at the start of the video to Regeni.
The Italian student responds that he is unable to ask for funds to be used for personal purposes.
“I am an academic and I cannot submit a funds application to the British foundation saying I want the money for personal reasons…If I do this it would cause a big problem,” responds Regeni.
Despite Regeni’s rejection, Abdallah continues to ask whether there are any “other ways” to obtain the money for personal use.
“The money can’t come through Giulio,” says Regeni referring to himself. “The money comes from the British to the Egyptian Centre and then goes to the vendors,” continues Regeni, referring to an unidentified ‘Egyptian Centre’.
Abdallah responds that he is worried the unidentified ‘Egyptian Centre’ will deceive the vendors “and not give us anything”. Regeni only responds by saying that funding matters are out of his hands.
The video continues with Abdallah asking Regeni about the process of funding and how long it takes. Regeni says that first research must be completed, including the collection of data such as how the money will be used and what are the needs of the vendors union, before a sum is allocated.
Though the process is explained, Abdallah continues asking questions about how to obtain money. Regeni responds that it is all about how the union will use the money.
However, another version of the video released by Italian media shows Abdallah asking whether the funds can be used for “political” purposes.
“Are we going to use the funds in the projects for kiosks for street vendors, or are we going to use it for projects related to freedom,” asks Abdallah in the other version of the video shortly after he asks whether the fund transfer “can be done between just the two of us”.
“Money for political purposes is difficult,” responds Regeni after explaining that he is a foreigner conducting academic research in Egypt and that the only way the union would get money would be through official purposes.
The leaks of the two versions of the video comes as Egyptian prosecutors announced that they have given Italian prosecutors access to CCTV footage from the area where Regeni was reportedly last seen.
Regeni went missing in Cairo on 25th January, on the anniversary of the Egyptian uprising, on his way to meet a friend. His body, baring hallmarks of extreme torture, was later discovered in a roadside ditch. Egypt has yet to release any information about who murdered him and whether any authorities were involved.