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CRIME

Egypt refuses to accuse police over Italian student’s murder

Italian prosecutors may open a formal investigation into Egyptian secret service agents over the death of student Giulio Regeni.

Egypt refuses to accuse police over Italian student's murder
A picture of Giulio Regeni held up at a demonstration in front of Montecitorio, the Italian Parliament, in Rome. Photo: AFP

Egypt refuses to accuse police officers suspected by Italy of involvement in the grisly murder of an Italian student because of a lack of evidence, authorities said.

According to Italian media, Italian prosecutors could open a formal investigation into several Egyptian secret service agents.

Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old doctoral researcher at Britain's Cambridge University, disappeared in Cairo in 2015.

Regeni, a PhD student, went missing in the Egyptian capital on January 25th, 2015. His body was found days later by a roadside, bearing torture marks

An Italian autopsy showed that Regeni's body was covered with cuts and his bones were broken, indicating he had been hit with “fists, batons and hammers”.

A letter “X” was carved on his forehead and hand, according to the report cited by Italian media.

The a case has strained traditionally close relations between Cairo and Rome, which accused Egypt of insufficient cooperation in the probe.

READ ALSO: Slain Italian student's body 'unrecognizable', says mum

Egypt has always strongly denied suggestions that its security services were involved in the death of Regeni, who was researching trade unions in Egypt, a politically sensitive topic in the country.

“Charges should be based on evidence and not suspicions,” Egypt's State Information Service said in a statement released late on Sunday.

Egyptian and Italian public prosecutors met in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the investigations into Regeni's case, it said, quoting a judicial source.

The Italian prosecutors asked their Egyptian counterparts “to approve the inclusion of a number of Egyptian policemen on its register of suspects in Italy”, it added.

The policemen are suspected by Italian prosecutors of gathering information about Regeni, according to the source.

Frustrated at the slow pace of the probe, Italy withdrew its ambassador to Egypt in April 2016, but sent a new envoy to Cairo the following year.

Egyptian authorities initially suggested Regeni died in a traffic accident, but later said he was killed by a criminal gang that was subsequently wiped out in a shootout with police.

READ MORE: Regeni family appeal to pope to raise case with Egypt

BOLOGNA

Italy’s president calls for ‘full truth’ on anniversary of Bologna bombing

President Sergio Mattarella said on Tuesday it was the state's duty to shed more light on the 1980 bombing of Bologna's train station, on the 42nd anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people and injured 200.

Italy's president calls for 'full truth' on anniversary of Bologna bombing

On August 2nd 1980, a bomb exploded in the railway station’s waiting room, causing devastation on an unprecedented scale.

Five members of terrorist groups were later convicted in relation to the bombing, the worst episode in Italy’s ‘Years of Lead’ period of political violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Most recently, in 2020, a former member of the far-right Armed Revolutionary Nucleus (NAR) was sentenced to life imprisonment for providing logistical support to those who carried out the attack.

But suspicions remain of cover-ups and the involvement of “deviant elements” within the nation’s security services, reported Italian news agency Ansa.

READ ALSO: Bologna massacre: 40 years on, questions remain over Italy’s deadliest postwar terror attack

“The bomb that killed people who happened to be at the station on that morning 42 years ago still reverberates with violence in the depths of the country’s conscience,” Mattarella said in a speech marking the anniversary on Tuesday.

“It was the act of cowardly men of unequalled inhumanity, one of the most terrible of the history of the Italian Republic.

A train compartment at Bologna station pictured following the 1980 bombing attributed to the neo-fascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari.

“It was a terrorist attack that sought to destabilise democratic institutions and sow fear, hitting ordinary citizens going about their everyday tasks.

“On the day of the anniversary our thoughts go, above all, to the relatives forced to suffer the greatest pain.

“The neo-fascist nature of the massacre has been established in court and further steps have been made to unveil the cover-ups and those who ordered the attack in order to comply with the Republic’s duty to seek the full truth”.

The bombing remains Western Europe’s fourth deadliest postwar terror attack, and one of the most devastating in Italy’s history.

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