January 15, 2020 / 4:54 PM / 6 days ago

Egypt forms a new team to investigate the death of Italian student

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt formed a new team to investigate the death of an Italian student who was tortured and murdered in Cairo in 2016, Egypt’s public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A man holds a placard during a vigil to commemorate Giulio Regeni, who was found murdered in Cairo, in downtown Rome, Italy January 25, 2017. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi/File Photo

Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old postgraduate student at Cambridge University, vanished in Cairo in January 2016. His body was found almost a week later and a post mortem examination showed he had been tortured before his death.

Intelligence and security sources told Reuters in 2016 that police had arrested Regeni outside a Cairo metro station and then transferred him to a compound run by Homeland Security. The police have denied this.

Egyptian public prosecutor Hamada El-Sawy told a visiting group of Italian investigators that “a new investigation team was formed and is working on studying the case”, the statement said.

The team “is working on taking all the necessary investigation procedures to clarify the truth in a completely neutral and independent way,” it added.

The prosecutor did not say why the new committee had been formed. Italian investigators have repeatedly complained about a lack of cooperation from their Egyptian counterparts.

Egyptian investigators “heard the views” of their Italian counterparts in joint meetings over Tuesday and Wednesday, the prosecutor’s office said.

The committee was formed after Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte visited Cairo on Tuesday, meeting President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Italy last year placed five members of Egypt’s security forces under official investigation for their alleged involvement in the disappearance of Regeni.

Egyptian officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Regeni’s killing.

Reporting by Haitham Ahmed; Writing by Amina Ismail and Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Ulf Laessing

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