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Italy's request for call logs in Regeni case is 'unconstitutional': Egypt prosecution

Ahram Online , Saturday 9 Apr 2016
Mostafa Soliman
Aide to Egypt's Top prosecutor Mostafa Soliman (Photo: AP)
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Italian investigators looking into the death of student Giulio Regeni in Egypt had requested the call logs of thousands of phone numbers, a senior Egyptian prosecutor said on Saturday, describing the request as “illegal and unconstitutional.”

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

On Friday, Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for "consultations."

The request for phone records was the main point of contention between the Italian and Egyptians during the Rome meetings, said Mostafa Soliman, an aide to the prosecutor-general and the head of the Egyptian delegation.

"The Italian authorities wanted access to the call log of a huge number of citizens, which could reach a million, who were around student Gulio Regeni's house and the area where the police found his body," Soliman said at a press conference in Cairo.

"Although Italy said that this request would make both countries issue unified statements concerning the investigations process, Egypt had rejected it as it violates the Egyptian constitution and the law regulating communications," he added.

Soliman said that the Egyptian constitution bans tracking any forms of communication used by ordinary people, as long as they are not charged or implicated in any criminal cases or ongoing investigations.

"We can't track the call logs of innocent people," he said.

The Egyptian delegation which flew to Rome on Wednesday submitted a 2,000-page report to Italy's chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone on its findings in the killing of Regeni.

However, Soliman said that the talks between the two sides were "friendly" and the Italian authorities did not ask them about names and information being circulated by the media related to Regeni's murder.

"When we asked the Italian authorities whether they need certain names to be added to the investigations or not, the Italian top prosecutor said that there are no names as all of them are media claims," he said.

Discussing the security cameras around Behooth metro station, Regeni's last-known location before he went missing on 25 January, Soliman said that the footage was not available as the cameras were not able to save videos.

"We contacted the American company which produced the cameras and it told us that there are no saving options in their cameras, but they informed us that there is German software available which can retrieve old videos with a 50 percent chance of success," he said. 

"But it's very expensive, so we contacted the Italian authorities to help us with getting it," he added.

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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F.Fallani
11-04-2016 09:26am
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Torture in Egypt
Please, stop insulting us Italians, everybody know that torture in Egypt is widespread and many torturers are still working in the police even if they have been condamned.Torture will destroy ur country soon or later.
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8



S.Mattia
11-04-2016 09:23am
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We want Khaled Shalaby
We want Khaled Shalaby, we will bring him in front of the Strasbourg Court
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7



S.Mattia
11-04-2016 09:22am
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We want Khaled Shalaby
We want Khaled Shalaby, we will bring him in front of the Strasbourg Court
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6



G.A.
10-04-2016 09:00pm
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Unconstitutional?What a crock of lies!
Let us review the case of the t-shirt youth-imprisoned for 26 months-2 months longer than constitutionally allowed, and then, not released outright-but ordered released on bail-a decision that a prosecution which had never charged him for 2 years and NEVER intended to-appealed!What of the suspension of the free Facebook account,of the demands that mobile phone companies like Blackberry(who has refused) and Iphone and Samsung allow universal access to the government so that millions,can be monitored?REALLY,When people are being tortured,detained, and disappeared,all of which is unconstitutional.I hope and pray that The Regeni family takes a lesson from Emmitt Till-the young Black child murdered horribly-whose Mother decided to bury him with an open casket.The world was shocked-and that one death galvanized universal support.Release the photos of Regeni's body&what was done to him,so that everyone will know the initial official line "traffic accident death" was evidence of the coverup!
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5



zakki
09-04-2016 09:35pm
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cameras lie
"We contacted the American company which produced the cameras and it told us that there are no saving options in their cameras, but they informed us that there is German software available which can retrieve old videos with a 50 percent chance of success," he said....how to retrieve old video if the mivie vas not captured? Or it was captured and deleted? All this make not sense...and from all electro ic cameras you can save the picture on hardisk...all the lies makes not a sense...
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4



Tut
09-04-2016 09:10pm
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Gag order
When all attempts fail to cover up the Police-state murder of Mr. Regeni, a media gag order perhaps with presidential decree is the call of last resort, isn't it!
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3



Al
09-04-2016 09:06pm
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'unconstitutional'
Egyptian judiciary use of the term 'unconstitutional' is not only a joke but an insult; considering that EVERY action of the kangaroo system in unconstitutional; arresting and jailing journalists, jailing and charging authors, torturing activists by the thousands, police beating and abusing doctors, lawyers, and cap drivers. Please don't insult the intelligence of the Italians and Egyptians by using 'unconstitutional' as a lame excuse for cover-up!
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2



expat
09-04-2016 09:00pm
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7000 years...of experiences
and no better excuses? shame on this officials,the ordinary luxoris have better excuses,if you catch them red handed goodbye,italians,i would fully understand,if you black-list this country for ten years,as the japanese did before
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1



Samantha Criscione
09-04-2016 08:41pm
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Egypt conciliates, Italy provokes. Why?
The Italian side relentlessly escalates its demands precisely in order to guarantee confrontation. It should be recalled that Italy signed what was titled "The Roadmap to Peace" with the clerical fascist government of Iran, the same day that the pope -- the main power in the Italian government -- held a joyful meeting with Rouhani and called on Iran to intervene more vigorously in the Middle East. Italy is using the Regeni murder as a way to foment public hysteria against the Egyptian government, which the pope and his beloved Iranian fascists want destroyed. Hence the demand for the call logs of a million people, which is basically a demand for the Italian government to be given dictatorial colonial control of Egypt, wildly violating the rights of Egyptian people, indeed, Egypt's very sovereignty! And this while the Italian media accuses Egypt of trampling human rights! It is enough to make one's head spin.--Samantha Criscione
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G.A.
10-04-2016 08:51pm
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There has been no conciliation, just lies and a coverup.
Egypt Conciliates? When, how? Was conciliation the blaming of Regeni's death on a traffic accident? Was conciliation trying to say he was killed because of "homosexual activity." Was conciliation for it to be said "hey, one death of one person will not affect relations" See, what you don't realize is this is the lull, before the storm. One death can spark a lot of backlash, and entire empires have fallen. And speaking of the issue of sovereignty-where was the constituational concerns when the young man who just had a T-shirt on saying "no torture" was held in jail, LONGER the constitutionally mandated allowed time-and then,when he was ordered released-on bail-which is also unconstitutional-the prosecution-with no intent to charge him-appealed to try to keep him in jail? Where is the constitutionality of telephone records when Egypt is suspending Facebook for NOT alowing the government to spy on its own citizens with no warrants-literally millions of people just talking-but the governme
Key
10-04-2016 07:29pm
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Well Said
Well said Samantha. Nothing could be further from the facts you’ve mentioned. I’d also like to add that publishing false news by the foreign press and the shady demands or actions by the Italian government since the very start are intended to mislead & direct public opinion to a certain direction about certain events in Egypt which serve a specific agenda or policy. It’s tremendously dangerous and can reach to a point of starting wars between countries. Now-a-days “those wars” are not the conventional face to face colonial style ones but the covert ones introduced by proxy where the west utilize Brotherhood and DA’ESH terrorists to destroy sovereign nations from the inside and outside by way of conflicts and igniting rumors. This is what the foreign press and Italian gov. are doing in relation to Egypt as well as in relation to other countries targeted for destruction. This is not a theory but a fact that we witnessed whether in the past or present.
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