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CRIME

Italy probes five Egyptian police over Giulio Regeni murder: reports

Italy has opened a formal investigation into five Egyptian policemen believed to be intelligence agents involved in the disappearance and murder of an Italian student in Cairo two years ago, media reported.

Italy probes five Egyptian police over Giulio Regeni murder: reports
A vigil for murdered student Giulio Regeni in Rome. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old doctoral researcher at Britain's Cambridge University, disappeared in Cairo in January 2016. His body was found by a roadside bearing extensive marks of torture in a case that strained the traditionally close relations between Cairo and Rome, which accused Egypt of insufficient cooperation in the probe.

Italian media named the five suspects as General Sabir Tareq, Colonel Ather Kamal, Major Magdi Abdlaal Sharif, Captain Osan Helmy and his aide Mahmoud Najem.

Egypt has always denied suggestions that its security services were involved in the death of Regeni, who was researching trade unions in Egypt.

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“Charges should be based on evidence and not suspicions,” Egypt's State Information Service said in a statement on Sunday, amid reports Italy would open a probe.

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 ALSO: 32 months on from brutal killing, Giulio Regeni's parents want justice


Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP
 

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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