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Mystery over brutal death of Italian researcher in Egypt deepens

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By Seamus Kearney
Mystery over brutal death of Italian researcher in Egypt deepens

The president’s office in Egypt has spoken out about the case of an Italian researcher who disappeared in January and was found dead nine days later.

After sources said Giulio Regeni had been tortured over a week, the president’s office claimed that “terrorists” were behind the killing.

“Through this act, those who want to damage Egypt and the region, and those who are linked to terrorist groups, tried to make the responsibility fall on the Interior Ministry,” said a statement from the presidency.

Egypt says its “enemies are trying to divide the country from Italy, creating a diplomatic case with a friendly country”.

On Tuesday unconfirmed judicial sources in Egypt said that Regeni had been tortured over the period of a week, in separate hour-long sessions every 10 to 14 hours.

The body has also been examined in Italy and a final report is still expected, but forensic sources confirmed torture.

Italy is said to be considering the recall of a legal team it sent to Cairo to investigate the murder because authorities are not cooperating enough.

The team has not been given access to many fundamental elements of the inquiry, including the data in Regeni’s mobile phone.

The battered body of the young man was found in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo on February the 3rd.