Italy denies Regeni was informer

PhD student's computer found

 (ANSA) - Rome, February 9 - Italy on Tuesday denied that an Italian student who was tortured and slain in Egypt was an intelligence informer.

Department of Information Security (DIS) chief Giampiero Massolo reportedly told the Parliamentary Committee for Intelligence and Security Services (COPASIR) that Giulio Regeni was not a secret service agent or informer and that the case is not likely to be solved any time soon.

Regeni went missing January 25 in Cairo and his severely tortured body was found dumped in a ditch on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital on February 3.

Foreign Undersecretary Benedetto Della Vedova told the Lower House earlier in the day that speculation the 28-year-old Cambridge University PhD studentwas working with Italy's secret services was "patently groundless". He also told lawmakers that Regeni's body - which was flown in from Egypt on Saturday - presented "burns and cuts to the shoulders and chest", describing his death as a "violent, savage killing".

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry told Foreign Policy magazine in an interview, excerpts of which ran on Ahram Online today, that its security forces had nothing to do with Regeni's severe torture and murder.
He was quoted as saying journalists were "jumping to conclusions and speculating without any authoritative information or authentication". He added that a widely reported number of 40,000 political prisoners in Egypt is "a lie".

Also on Tuesday, the head of the prosecutor's office in the Egyptian city of Giza, Ahmed Nagy, told ANSA that no phone, computer or iPad were found in Regeni's apartment or near his body.

However Italian investigators said later in the day they had located Regeni's laptop but not his cell phone, Rome prosecution sources investigating the murder said.

Egyptian Ambassador to Italy Amr Helmy said whoever killed Regeni intended to "ruin relations between Italy and Egypt", but added that economic and political ties between the two countries would not be compromised.

He said it was not possible to "rule out" that "fundamentalists, Salafists, extremists or ISIS" - an acronym for the so-called Islamic State insurgency - were responsible for the killing. However no such group has yet claimed responsibility for the gruesome murder.

A visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo, Regeni was conducting research for his thesis and reporting on Egyptian trade unions for leftwing Rome-based paper il manifesto. He went missing on January 25, the anniversary of the uprising that led to Hosni Mubarak's ouster in 2011.
   

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