CAIRO – 2 December 2018: The meeting between the Egyptian and Italian general prosecution delegations on Wednesday concerning the murder of an Italian citizen took place in an atmosphere of transparency, a judicial source said.
The two sides discussed the updates of the investigation into the killing of Giulio Regeni in Cairo in 2016.
In a statement to MENA on Sunday, the source pointed out the that Italian prosecutor's office reiterated its previous request issued in December 2017 that demanded the approval of the Egyptian prosecution to include some Egyptian policemen on the list of suspects.
This is what the Egyptian Attorney General's Office rejected during the previous meetings with the Italian side, considering that such record is not defined in the Egyptian law, the judicial source told MENA.
The source explained that the two sides also reviewed during the meeting questions concerning Regeni's visit to Egypt using a tourist visa and not the visa required for conducting research on Egyptian independent syndicates.
The Italian side promised to conduct an in-depth investigation into this matter, to be presented during the upcoming meetings between the Egyptian and Italian sides, the source added.
Egyptian, Italian parliaments halt relations
Italy’s Chamber of Deputies decided on Dec. 29 to halt all diplomatic relations with Egypt’s Parliament until there is a breakthrough and trial in the case of Regeni.
According to the Italian news agency of ANSA, the speaker of Italian Parliament Roberto Fico said on Friday that there will be complete suspension of diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Parliament due to the slow and inconclusive investigations of murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni.
“With great regret I announce that Montecitorio will suspend all kinds of diplomatic relations with the Egyptian Parliament until there is a real turning point in the investigation concerning the murder of Giulio Regeni,” Fico said.
Immediately following the Italian unilateral decision, Parliamentspeaker Ali Abdel-Aal expressed dissatisfaction with the Italian Parliament’s move, saying that a unilateral decision won’t help to with the results of the investigations and won’t affect the Egyptian-Italian strong relations.
Abdel-Aal then asked three parliamentary committees to hold an urgent meeting to review Egyptian-Italian political relations.
He said: “It is deplorable that this move on the part of the Italian Parliament comes at a time when Egypt is leading a fierce war against terrorist organizations. We were also surprised that the Italian measures took place after the judicial authorities in both Egypt and Italy were intensifying their cooperation in a bid to unravel the mystery of Regeni’s death."
Abdel-Aal stressed that contacts between both countries’ parliaments should continue despite frictions. “We need to get out of this crisis with our long-term relations intact,” said Abdel-Aal.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Mustafa, deputy chairman of the Ethics Committee, accused Rome of using the investigation into Regeni's case “as a tool of political exhortation”.
Also, MP Tarek Radwan, deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said an objective review of Egyptian-Italian relations is now required.
“We should work on containing current tensions rather than taking retaliatory measures,” said Radwan. “The Italian Parliament’s decision places Egyptian-Italian relations on edge, something that can only serve terrorist organizations targeting the security of the Mediterranean countries."
However, Kamal Amer, head of Parliament’s Defence and National Security Committee, said: “We are very keen that Egyptian-Italian relations remain strong. Italy was, after all, the first European country to support Egypt’s Revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood."
He added that the Italian decision won’t affect the Egyptian-Italian strong relations.
Egypt's commitment to transparent investigations
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi stressed in September that Egypt is keen to solve Italian student Regeni’s murder case, and Egyptian authorities are committed to full transparency with the Italian side in this regard.
This was during the meeting held between Sisi and Fico as a part of a two-day official visit the latter carried out.
Sisi issued directives to remove any obstacles faced by the ongoing investigations to resolve the case, find the perpetrators and provide them before the court, pointing out the cooperation between the Egyptian Public Prosecution and its Italian counterpart, Presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said.
Fico noted his country’s appreciation for the president’s directives and Egypt’s strong determination to resolve the case and seize the perpetrators in cooperation with Italy, which will have a positive effect on Italian public opinion and will contribute to promoting bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Parts of the reporting were taken from MENA