Salvini reopens Cambridge student Regeni's murder case

ROME – The Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has travelled to Cairo to meet with Egyptian president Al Sisi, promising answers from authorities’ investigation into the murder of Cambridge student Giulio Regeni two and a half years ago, but in reality the process has been anything but efficient.

 A month ago Salvini archived the legal case concerning Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge student who was brutally tortured and killed in 2016, noting Italy’s “good relationship with an important country like Egypt”. On Wednesday, however, after Salvini went to Cairo to meet with Abd Al Fattah Al Sisi, the ministry released a statement saying that the case has been reopened “to shed light on the homicide of the Italian student Giulio Regeni.”

 The statement mentions a “long and cordial” meeting in which the Egyptian Interior Miniser, Mahmoud Tawfiq, the head of General Information Services, Abbas Kamel and Italy’s ambassador to Cairo, Giuseppe Cantini, were also present. The central topics under discussion were security, illegal immigration and terrorism, and finally the question of Regeni.

 “I have been promised clarity and precise information soon,” the Interior Minister said, adding that “We must strengthen the alliance between Italy and Egypt; this is fundamental, strategic, unavoidable. The pressing concern is obviously shedding light on what happened to Giulio Regeni. Clarity was promised, and clarity and justice will be brought not only to his family but also to the Italian population. We are sure that the Egyptian justice initiative will rapidly give exact answers,” he concluded, showing an extraordinary faith in the investigatory operations in Cairo; although they haven’t yet managed to name the assassins and those associated with the homicide of the Italian researcher even after two and half years.

 “Salvini has been in Egypt today and as agreed the Minister Moavero will go as well,” said Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, adding “on the other hand, the president of the council won’t go until there are significant steps forward. In the meantime, our ambassador has returned; there is a precise strategy that we are following.”

 It’s certain that relationships with Egypt have never been so good. Following the statements made by the Minister of the Interior, Al Sisi himself quickly responded with a statement in which he highlighted “the great desire that the investigation into the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni comes to a definite conclusion and that the criminals are discovered so that justice can be brought.” He also mentioned “the need in Egypt to cooperate with the competent authorities and the judicial power and to coordinate with their Italian counterparts.”

 In reality the investigation is dragging, and only on the past May 29 did the Egyptian judge finally deliver CCTV footage to investigators; yet even this only amounts to five percent of all the material. The attention is on the images around 19:51, following the last connection between Regeni’s phone to a cell in the Dokki station.

 Investigations on telephone records have clarified the connection between the agents who were in charge of controlling Giulio between December 2015 and January 2016, and the officers of the Egyptian secret services involved in the shooting with the alleged gang of criminals killed on March 24, 2016. To the latter, the Egyptians tried to attribute the murder  as in the house of one of the criminals the documents of the student were found. Amongst this group of people, nine in all, lies the key to almost two and a half years of investigation.

 cb