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Egyptian foreign minister dismayed by Italy's 'politicisation' in Regeni case

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Apr 2016
Giulio Regeni (Photo:Facebook)
Giulio Regeni (Photo:Facebook)
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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry expressed dismay to his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni over what he described as "the politicisation" which affected Italy's dealing with the killing of an Italian student in Cairo, Egypt's foreign ministry said on Saturday.

On Friday, Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultations, and earlier on Saturday a senior Egyptian prosecutor said that an Italian request to obtain the call logs of thousands of phone numbers for investigation had been turned down by Egypt because it was "illegal and unconstitutional."

"The foreign minister stressed [during a phone call with Gentiloni] that this turn raises question marks over the purpose of these decisions, and to what extent they are linked to the matter of cooperation between the investigation teams," the spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said in a statement on the ministry's Facebook page.

"Minister Shoukry voiced annoyance over the political leaning that the dealing with this file expresses," the statement added.

Shoukry, according to Abu Zeid, told Gentiloni that Egypt's "transparency and keenness to respond to the Italian side" contradicts the Italian prosecution's decision to stop cooperating with the Egyptian side and the recall of the Italian ambassador to Egypt.

An Egyptian team headed to Rome this week to meet with Italian officials looking into the killing of Giulio Regeni, whose body was found in Cairo in February bearing signs of torture.

Regeni, a 28-year-old PhD student, vanished from the streets of Cairo on 25 January. His body was discovered in a ditch on the outskirts of the city nine days later, showing signs of extensive torture.

Last month, Egyptian police said they had found Regeni's passport and other belongings in the possession of one of the families of a member of an alleged gang of kidnappers who robbed foreigners.

Police killed all four alleged robbers in a shootout in late March.

Italian officials responded to the accounts of the link with Regeni with public scepticism.

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