Italian foreign minister warns Egypt to speed up Regeni investigation

Elsa Maishman 5 April 2016

The Italian foreign minister has warned he is ready to take “proportional” action if Egypt does not increase the speed of its investigation into the murder of the Girton PhD student found dead in Cairo two months ago. 

Paolo Gentiloni today told the Italian senate and parliament that he will not accept “distorted or convenient truths” when Egyptian investigators travel to Rome this week.

“If there is not a change in gear, the government is ready to react, adopting measures that are both immediate and proportionate,” he said.

Gentiloni went on to say that a dossier sent by Egyptian authorities in March failed to include key information requested by Italy, including Regeni’s telephone records and CCTV footage. The minister also called for Italian authorities to have a more active role in the investigation.

The Egyptian foreign ministry rebuffed these remarks, saying that: “We refrain from commenting on these statements, which complicate the situation.”

Last month, the head of the Italian parliament's human rights committee said that Italy should recall its ambassador to Cairo and declare Egypt unsafe for visitors if the investigation went nowhere.

Giulio Regeni was a PhD student at Girton, conducting research into labour union movements in Egypt. Having gone missing on 25 January, his body was found 10 days later in a ditch in Cairo, showing signs of brutal torture

The Regeni case has sparked international outrage, with many demanding to know what happened to him. The Italian branch of Amnesty International is calling for the "truth about Giulio Regeni.’’

After a series of delays, an Egyptian delegation is expected to arrive in Rome for meetings on Thursday and Friday, led by deputy general prosecutor Mostafa Suleiman.

Regeni’s mother has threatened to release the photographs of his body if the killers are not found. She stated that she could identify her son only by the tip of his nose, saying: "On that face, I thought that all the evil of the world had poured onto him’’.

Egyptian authorities reported last week that the 'gang' responsible for Regeni's death had been 'killed'. However, the claim was met with scepticism in Italy.

Egyptian officials have so far denied any involvement in Regeni’s death.