Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Return of Cairo envoy a failure - Regeni family (5)

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 13 - The family of tortured and
murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni on Tuesday said the
government's decision to send an ambassador back to Cairo six
months ago had been a "failure" due to lack of progress in the
death probe.
The new envoy's mission, which "was supposed to have shed
light on the murder two years ago that brought all the evil of
this world on our son," said Paola Deffendi and Claudio Regeni,
"has failed".
The Cambridge researcher's parents called for an "immediate
change of tack".
They said they expected to see Egyptian police hand over "the
videos of the underground" on the day Regeni disappeared,
January 25, 2016, as well as the agreement of "a joint
investigative strategy" between Egypt and Italy.
The Italian ambassador to Egypt, Giampaolo Cantini, arrived
in Cairo to take office in mid-September, a month and a half
after he was named.
Cantini replaced Maurizio Massari, who was recalled in spring
2016 to protest lack of progress in the Regeni case.
Last Thursday the European Parliament said, again, there has
been a lack of progress in the Regeni case on Egypt's part.
In a resolution on executions in Egypt, the Strasbourg
assembly "recalls, yet again, its outrage at the torture and
murder of Giulio Regeni".
The resolution "denounces, again, the absence of progress in
the investigation into this brutal murder".
The EP said it would continue to "urge European authorities
to work with their Egyptian counterparts until the truth is
established in this case and the culprits brought to justice".
The resolution voiced a firm condemnation of the use of the
death penalty in Egypt and "deep disquiet over collective
trials".
Italy marked the second anniversary of Regeni's disappearance
on January 25 with Premier Paolo Gentiloni saying he was not
forgotten and Rome prosecutors saying "the one sure thing" is
that Egypt's security apparatus was involved.
Italy marked the anniversary in solemn fashion with a string
of events and State broadcaster RAI transmitted special
commemorative and investigative programmes.
Amnesty International staged an all-Italy event where yellow
candles, symbolising the hunt for the truth, were lit by
hundreds of people at 19:41, the time of his last phone message.
And there was a torchlit vigil in the Friuli town of his
birth, Fiumicello, led by parents Paola Deffendi and Claudio
Regeni, who have vowed to continue their search for the truth
despite what they call a stream of lies from Egypt.
Gentiloni said that Italy will not stop trying to get to the
bottom of Regeni's death.
"Italy has not forgotten, two years after the horrible murder
of Giulio Regeni," Gentiloni said via Twitter.
"The commitment to seek the truth continues".
Regeni was killed because of his research into trade unions
and the Egyptian secret services had a role in the case, Rome
prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone wrote in a letter to daily
newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica on January 25.
The 28-year-old Italian Cambridge PhD researcher's tortured
body was found in a ditch on the road to Alexandria on February
3, 2016, after he went missing nine days earlier.
January 25, 2016 was the heavily policed fifth anniversary of
the uprising that toppled former strongman Hosni Mubarak.
The motive for the murder was linked to "the research
activity Giulio conducted in the months of his stay in Cairo",
wrote Pignatone, who is in charge of the Italian probe into the
case.
He said this and "the action of the Egyptian public
apparatus, which had concentrated their attention on Giulio in
the previous months, with more pressing methods, up to January
25" are "firm points".
Italy also solemnly marked the second anniversary of Regeni's
body being discovered, last Saturday, February 3.
Egypt's secret services, frequently accused of repressing
dissent, have consistently denied any part in Regeni's torture
and murder.
Several concocted explanations of Regeni's death have been
rejected by Italy, from a car accident to a gay quarrel turned
ugly to a kidnap for ransom that went wrong - after which the
purported kidnap gang was wiped out by police and Regeni's
documents 'found' in one of their alleged lairs.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who recently
repeated that Regeni was killed to hurt Italo-Egyptian ties,
has reasserted a pledge to help Italy find the culprits.
Regeni was researching Egyptian street-seller unions.
His contact, the head of the Cairo street sellers, had told
police he was a spy.
The Regeni investigation has come onto "the right track as
far as the British side is concerned" after initial "havering"
by his former Cambridge supervisor Maha Abdelrahman, Italian
Ambassador to the UK Paquale Terracciano told ANSA on the
anniversary.
Delays in the UK side of the probe "were not due to the
London authorities nor to Cambridge University per se, but to an
individual lecturer, Regeni's tutor, who had a havering and
contradictory attitude," Terracciano said.
This has now been put right and Abdelrahman has handed over
her computer and database in a "rather invasive step", the
ambassador said.
Abdelrahman, who has been accused of putting Regeni in harm's
way with a PhD subject that was too politically sensitive,
recently stressed that the 28-year-old Friuli-born researcher
had "freely chosen" his doctoral subject.
Cambridge issued a statement on January 17 denouncing what it
said was a "shameful campaign of denigration, fanned by
political expediency" against Abdelrahman.
It said this came against the background of "an apparent
absence of investigative progress".
In the statement, Vice-Chancellor Stephen J. Toope reiterated
Abdelrahmand's intention to collaborate fully with the
probe.
But he deplored leaks from the probe.
The Egyptian Prosecutor General's office said recently a
letter attributed to the Egyptian secret services citing the
arrest of Giulio Regeni was "totally counterfeit".
In a statement, it said "this letter is totally falsified and
the Egyptian Prosecutor-General's office immediately informed
its Italian counterpart" of its falsity "in the framework of the
fruitful cooperation between the two sides".
"The Egyptian prosecutor-general's office on January 22
received from its Italian counterpart an anonymous letter sent
to the Italian embassy in Swiss capital Bern," the statement
said, which said Regeni had been arrested by the Egyptian secret
services.
The letter was dated January 30, 2016, or five days after
Regeni's disappearance.
Rome prosecutors asked their Egyptian counterparts to confirm
the information in the letter, the statement said.
"This news could hurt cooperation between the two
prosecutor's offices," the statement said.
It said the letter was "categorically" false, including its
stamps and signatures.

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