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CRIME

Italy offers to help Egypt probe Giulio Regeni murder

Italy's chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone on Monday offered Rome's assistance in the Egyptian investigation into the murder of an Italian graduate student after his abduction in Cairo.

Italy offers to help Egypt probe Giulio Regeni murder
People hold placards reading 'Truth about Giulio Regeni ', an Italian student who was found dead in Egypt, bearing signs of torture. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge University PhD student who was researching Egyptian labour movements, disappeared on January 25th and his badly mutilated body was found a week later.

Egypt's attorney general Nabil Sadeq discussed the investigation with Pignatone, who was visiting Cairo along with his deputy Sergio Colaiocco after an invitation.

“The Italian side proposed its assistance to Egyptian investigators and to provide all information in its possession,” said a statement, stressing the determination of both parties to shed light on the case.

Last Thursday, the European Parliament called on Egypt to cooperate in the probe, saying it came within the context of deaths in custody in the North African country.

In February, Egyptian Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar rejected charges of security forces being involved in the murder of Regeni.

The 28-year-old's slaying became a cause celebre among academics around the world and has turned the spotlight on what rights and opposition groups say are increasing abuses by security services under the military-backed government in Cairo.

Police and intelligence services in Egypt are frequently accused of carrying out torture in arbitrary detention or the killing of detainees.

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ROME

‘Bank robber’ rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

Four people were arrested in Rome after a suspected would-be bank robber was rescued from a tunnel under a road, police said on Friday.

'Bank robber' rescued in Rome after tunnel collapses

An Italian man had to be rescued after becoming trapped in a collapsed tunnel near the Vatican, suspected of being part of a gang burrowing its way to a nearby bank.

Firefighters spent eight hours digging him out from under a road in the west of Rome, before he was finally freed on Thursday evening and taken to hospital.

“Two people from Naples were arrested for resisting a public official and two, from Rome, for damage” to public property, a police spokesman told AFP.

The rescued man, one of the two Romans, remains in hospital, he said without giving an update on his condition.

“We are still investigating, we do not exclude that they are thieves, it is one of the theories,” he said.

For Italian newspapers, however, the motive was clear, with reports noting the tunnel was found near a bank ahead of the August 15th long weekend, when residents traditionally head out of town and much of Rome is left empty.

“The hole gang,” headlined newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, while La Stampa said: “They dig a tunnel to rob a bank, and one of them is buried underground.”

Other reports referred to the suspected burglar as l’uomo-talpa, or ‘mole man’.

An AFP reporter at the scene on Thursday saw the man brought out alive on a stretcher, after a day-long operation involving dozens of emergency service workers using mechanical diggers.

The tunnel began underneath an empty shop that had recently been rented.

“We all thought that the people there were renovating the place. So we had no suspicions and we did not hear noises either,” a resident, Michele, who lives in the same building told AFP.

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