Italy Senate hits back at Egypt over slain student

AP News
Posted: Jun 30, 2016 10:59 AM

ROME (AP) — Egypt on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction with a vote by Italy's Senate to stop providing free spare parts for its F-16, a sanction for what Italy says is a lack of cooperation in the investigation into the torture and death of an Italian student in Cairo.

The 159-55 vote late Wednesday was largely symbolic since the parts are widely available on the open market. But Sen. Gian Carlo Sangalli, who pushed the amendment through, said he hoped it would "send a signal to Egypt."

In an interview Thursday with The Associated Press, Sangalli said Egypt and Italy remain friends and allies, but that Italy wants to "know the whole truth."

Doctoral student Giulio Regeni was abducted in Cairo on Jan. 25. His body, bearing signs of torture, was found nine days later on the side of a suburban Cairo road.

Suspicions have run high in Italy that Egyptian police were behind the death, and Italian prosecutors have complained continuously that their Egyptian counterparts haven't come forward with all the information they have. Egypt has denied any police role.

Egypt's foreign ministry called the vote "inconsistent" with the investigation. In a statement, the ministry added that its ambassador in Rome would deliver the message to Italian authorities.

It is unclear if the measure — contained in a bill authorizing foreign missions — would be in the legislation before the lower Chamber of Deputies. Some center-right politicians criticized the vote, saying Egypt's F-16s are crucial in the fight against the Islamic State group.