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Italy holds back ambassador to Cairo over Regeni case

Ahram Online , Thursday 16 Jun 2016
Italy
File Photo: Italy's Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni( Photo: Reuters)
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Italy's foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said Thursday that Italy would not send its ambassador back to Cairo over Egypt’s handling of investigations into the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni in Egypt earlier this year, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

"The government recalled the ambassador two months ago and this decision has not changed," Gentiloni said during a visit to Bosnia, according to ANSA.

In April, Italian ambassador Maurizio Massari was recalled "for consultations" following a meeting in Rome where the Egyptian team of investigators looking into the murder submitted a 2,000-page report to Italian chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone on the investigation.

Italian officials have criticised what they described as a lack of transparency in the investigation.

A new Italian ambassador to Cairo, Giampaolo Cantini, was appointed in May, though it is unclear when he would assume his new post.

The Italian foreign minister's statements come one day after Regeni's parents met with the EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

In an official statement, Mogherini said she had “personally raised the case with the Egyptian foreign minister [Sameh] Shoukry.”

"The EU supports all the initiatives the Italian authorities are taking in their search for the truth on the death of Giulio Regeni," the statement added

Regeni, who was in Cairo conducting research on independent trade unions, went missing on 25 January. His body was found, bearing signs of severe torture, by a roadside on the outskirts of the capital nine days later.

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has insisted that the investigation into the murder of Regeni in Cairo was being conducted with the "utmost transparency," with Egyptian officials repeatedly denying speculation that security forces were involved in the murder.

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