Egyptian police investigated Italian student Giulio
Regeni days before his abduction, torture and
but dropped the probe after assessing he
posed no threat, Egyptian and Italian prosecutors
said on Friday.
Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge University PhD
student, disappeared on January 25 in central
His body was later found by the side of a road
bearing signs of brutal torture.
Egypt has denied that its security forces were
involved, but Italy recalled its ambassador to Cairo
in April in protest at what it said was a lack of
progress in the investigation.
This is the first official Egyptian acknowledgement
that Regeni had been on the radar of security
Trade unions are an especially sensitive political
issue in Egypt, with governments fearing strikes
and labour unrest.
Police officials had at first suggested Regeni might
have died in a road accident, and have since
offered little information on their investigation.
An Italian autopsy showed that his body was
covered with cuts and his bones were broken,
indicating he was hit with “fists, batons and
A letter “X” was carved on his forehead and hand,
according to the report cited by Italian media.
His parents, Paola and Claudio Regeni, said the
report suggested he had been tortured by a
“It seems clear to us that the torture inflicted, and
the number of times our son had to endure it and
the methods, can only be the perverse deed of
some torture professional,” they told Italian media
In March, police linked a gang that extorted
foreigners to Regeni’s death, saying his belongings
had been found in the home of the gang leader’s
wife. He and four others were killed in a shootout
Friday’s statement said Egypt’s prosecution
service was still investigating the gang’s links to
The Egyptian and Italian prosecution would also
continue trying to retrieve footage from CCTV
cameras in a metro station that Regeni is believed
to have entered before being abducted.
Egypt had said the programme to retrieve the
deleted footage was very expensive, and had asked
Italy to help.
It had also accused the Italian prosecution of
“unconstitutionally” demanding thousands of phone
records which it refused to provide.