Egypt delegation due in Italy amid pressure over student’s death

An Egyptian delegation is to travel to Italy to present the results of Egypt’s investigation into the torture and death of an Italian researcher in Cairo, the state prosecutor general said Tuesday.

The visit comes amid mounting pressure on Egypt to reveal the circumstances that led to the brutal death of Guilio Regeni, a 28-year-old researcher abducted on a Cairo street on Jan. 25, the day Egyptians marked the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Regeni’s brutally tortured body was found nine days later by the side of a road in a Cairo suburb.


Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek said the Egyptian delegation, which will depart for Italy on Wednesday, will be led by his assistant, Judge Mustafa Suleiman. Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday that the delegation will also include another prosecutor and three security officers.

Weeks after Regeni’s body was found, authorities linked the killing to a criminal gang, saying they found the Italian student’s personal belongings in a suspect’s home after a shootout that killed all the gang’s members.

Regeni’s parents said the Egyptian explanation of their son’s death rang hollow and have pressed the Italian government to step up pressure on Cairo by declaring Egypt to be an “unsafe” country for Italian tourists.

Meanwhile, Italian prosecutors are waiting for Egyptian investigators to hand over data from Regeni’s cellphone and video from surveillance cameras from the subway station area where he was last seen.

An Egyptian security official said there was a conflict between the security and judicial agencies on who is to lead the team to Italy and what to present to the Italians. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the case, told The Associated Press that the prosecutors were concerned security agencies’ attempted to “keep information” and not present it to the Italian side.