Italy demands unvarnished truth about student's murder in Egypt

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2016 10:40 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Italy wants the unvarnished truth about the murder of an Italian student in Cairo, the prime minister's office said on Friday, after Egyptian authorities said they had found the young man's possessions in the hideout of a criminal gang.

Giulio Regeni's broken body was found last month on the outskirts of Cairo. Human rights groups have said signs of torture indicate the 28-year-old was killed by Egyptian security forces, an allegation Cairo has vigorously denied.

On Thursday, Egyptian authorities said a criminal gang that had been killed in a shootout had Regeni's bag and passport in its possession - a statement greeted with skepticism by some Italian politicians.

"The Italian government continues to be determined that the ongoing investigation sheds full and total light, without shadow of a doubt, on the death of the young Italian researcher," a source in Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's office said.

Italy sent a seven-person team to Cairo to investigate, but after almost two months they have not received all the evidence they say is needed to conduct their own investigation properly.

Alessandro Di Battista, a prominent deputy for Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, addressed a tweet to Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on Friday suggesting the government was more concerned about Italian oil producer Eni's development of the giant Zohr gas field in Egypt than about Regeni.

"Gentiloni, do you want to say something about Regeni and the Egyptians' countless versions, or is oil more important than the murder of one of our citizens?"

Former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta also entered the fray, saying on Twitter: "I'm sorry, I don't believe it. #Regeni. #Egypt. Do not stop asking for truthforGiulioRegeni."

(Reporting by Isla Binnie and Steve Scherer; Editing by Mark Potter)