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Renzi urges Egypt's al-Sisi to ensure justice for slain PhD student

04 febbraio 2016 | 19.32
LETTURA: 3 minuti

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Italy's premier Matteo Renzi on Thursday appealed to Egypt's president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to make sure those responsible for Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni's murder are brought to justice.

In a phone-call, Renzi also asked al-Sisi to ensure Italian investigators were granted unfettered access to evidence and were able to participate fully in a joint murder probe.

He also asked al-Sisi to Egypt to return as soon as possible Regeni's body to his family in northeast Italy for burial.

Al-Sisi expressed condolences over Regeni's death and said Egypt's authorities attach the utmost attention to investigating the case and would cooperate fully with Italian investigators "to unravel the mystery surrounding the incident," Sisi's spokesman said in a statement.

"Renzi lauded the positive spirit of cooperation that the Egyptian side shows in dealing with the incident, noting that this position reflects the friendly relations that bind the two countries and their peoples," the statement said.

Renzi was the first Western leader to receive former army chief Sisi after his 2013 overthrow of Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi.

Earlier on Thursday, Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni at a Syrian donor conference in London to discuss Regeni's case and agreed to work together to establish the circumstances of his killing.

"We want the truth to come out, every last bit of it," Gentiloni told Italian public broadcaster RAI from London

"We owe that much to a family that has been stricken in an irreparable way and, at the very least, has the right to know the truth," he said.

Renzi and Gentiloni have both commiserated with the family of Regeni, whose half-naked body was found in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo on Wednesday. One of his ears had been mutilated, and his body was covered in cigarette burns, cuts and bruises, coroners said.

Italy's foreign ministry furiously summoned Egypt's ambassador Amr Mostafa Kamal Helmy to express its "bewilderment" over the 28-year-old Cambridge University doctoral student's killing.

Regeni disappeared in Cairo on the evening of 25 January, the fifth anniversary of the Tahrir Square demonstrations which led to the fall of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Regeni vanished after leaving his home in an upper middle-class district of Cairo to take the underground to meet a friend downtown, but never arrived, the friend said.

He had been in Egypt since September, researching the economy with a focus on trade unions since 2011.

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