Egypt’s prosecutor-general has stressed to his Italian counterpart his country’s serious desire to “get to the truth” behind the 2016 murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni.
According to an official statement on Wednesday, Egyptian prosecutor-general Hamada El-Sawy spoke with his Italian counterpart Michele Prestipino in a virtual meeting, the first of its kind since the Italian prosecutor-general took office.
This was also the first meeting with the Italian prosecution since El-Sawy formed a new Egyptian investigative team last February to solve the murder of Regeni, who was tortured and killed in Cairo in 2016.
El-Sawy stressed that the Egyptian prosecution is operating independently in the Regeni case, and that it “is not influenced” by any reports from media outlets regarding the investigation.
According to the statement, the Egyptian prosecution sent on Wednesday morning “a number of requests” to the Italian prosecution for information regarding the case, to which Prestipino said his office will examine the request.
El-Sawy also said that the Egyptian investigative team is currently reviewing all previous investigations related to the incident and is examining requests previously filed by the Italian side over the case.
The Italian general prosecutor said he hopes for a direct meeting in the near future so they can exchange information about the case in order to “boost understanding” and overcome any obstacles in the matter, the statement said.
Egyptian and Italian authorities have been cooperating in the ongoing investigation into the murder of the 28-year-old Italian student, who was conducting research on independent trade unions when he went missing on the fifth anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 Revolution. He was found dead 10 days later bearing signs of torture.
However, the cooperation faltered last year after Italy accused Egypt of not taking any steps or overtures following Rome's decision to place five members of Egyptian security forces under official investigation for their alleged involvement in the torture and murder of the slain student.
Regeni's killing also led to a brief diplomatic rift in 2016, when Italy's ambassador to Cairo was recalled in protest of Egypt's handling of the case. The ambassador returned in September 2017.
Egyptian officials have repeatedly dismissed allegations that security officials were involved in Regeni’s killing.