The unsolved 2016 murder in Egypt of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni is "an open wound" for Italy but also for Europe, foreign minister Luigi Di Maio told European Union counterparts in Brussels on Monday.
"Today is the fifth anniversary of Giulio Regeni's disappearance. His barbaric murder is an open wound for Italy, but I am here to speak to you today because that wound is also inevitably a European one," Di Maio stated.
Regeni, a Cambridge University doctoral student, vanished in central Cairo on 25 January 2016. His mutilated, severely tortured corpse was found nine days later in early February along the Cairo-Alexandria highway.
"For five years, Giulio's family and Italy have asked or justice, but it has never arrived," Di Maio underlined.
Rome prosecutors probing the case last week asked for four Egyptian security agents to stand trial over Regeni's abduction and torturing to death. A preliminary hearing is slated or for 29 April, Adnkronos learned on Monday.
Di Maio renewed calls by Italy for the 27-member EU to put pressure on Egypt to cooperate with Italy in bringing Regeni's killers to justice.
"Upholding human rights is a key issue that also concerns many other countries towards which as you know the EU has always taken a stand," Di Maio added.
Egypt's public prosecutor in early January officially closed its probe of 28-year-old Regeni's abduction and killing, claiming in a statement that Italian prosecutors lacked the necessary proof to try the four Egyptian security officials they have charged with the crime.
A lack of cooperation by Egyptian authorities in solving the Regeni case caused a diplomatic rift leading to the months-long recall of Italy's envoy to Egypt and calls for an end to arms deals between the two countries.
At time of his disappearance, Regeni was researching the politically sensitive topic of independent trade unions in Egypt.