Rome - Italy is demanding that Egyptian authorities swiftly help determine the truth about the killing of an Italian doctoral student in Cairo, where he was researching Egyptian labour movements and other
Justice Minister Andrea Orlando spoke passionately about the case on Saturday at a Rome airport where the airliner carrying the body of Giulio Regeni landed after a flight from Cairo. The body was to be transferred to a Rome university for a second autopsy, following one done in Cairo after Regini's body was discovered in a suburb of the Egyptian capital.
Regini, 28, disappeared on January 25, the anniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprising, a day when security forces were on high alert and on the streets in force to prevent any demonstrations or protests. His body, stabbed repeatedly and exhibiting cigarette burns and other signs of torture, was reported found on February 3.
"I am here to show my deep condolences and that of the government, and closeness to the Regini family," Orlando told reporters. "But I am also here to affirm the will of the [Italian] government that truth and complete clarity emerge as soon as possible and that justice be done."
Orlando said Italy was calling on Egyptian authorities to act with determination, transparency and rapidity.
Italy's ambassador in Cairo described how the body looked when he saw it.
"For me to see it [the body] was devastating. It showed evident signs of beating and torture," Ambassador Maurizio Massari told Corriere della Sera daily. "I took note of the wounds, bruises and burn marks. There is no doubt that the young man was heavily beaten and tortured."
In Cairo, prosecutors have said they are waiting for a full report on the Egyptian autopsy.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, speaking to reporters on Saturday in Amsterdam, said that Italian investigators were beginning to work with Egyptian authorities on the case. Gentiloni mentioned preliminary arrests, but the deputy head of criminal investigations in Cairo's twin province of Giza, Alaa Azmi, denied on Saturday that anyone had been detained in the case.
Regeni had been writing occasional pieces for an Italian leftist newspaper, Il Manifesto. The papers' editors said Regini had insisted on a pseudonym for the byline on his articles, a strong indication that he had safety concerns during the months he had been living in Cairo while doing research as a candidate for a Cambridge University doctorate.