Egypt rejected a request filed by Italian prosecutors asking permission to attend the interrogations of seven police officers who investigated researcher Giulio Regeni before his death, Italian news agency Ansa reported.
Egyptian law forbids the presence of foreign magistrates during judicial activity, a judicial source told Ansa. Although Italian prosecutors were not permitted to attend the questioning, Rome officials received a summary of the officers’ testimonies, without given the full details, judicial sources said.
Regeni’s parents Claudio and Paola were informed of the refusal during a meeting on Friday with Rome chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone and his assistant Sergio Colaiocco, Ansa reported.
Italian prosecutors are hoping for a third tranche of documents, starting with questioning of the national security chief who investigated Regeni a few days before his disappearance, as well as testimony given in March by the agent who searched the home of an alleged kidnapping gang’s head suspected of abducting and robbing foreigners.
In April, Italian investigators finalized a list of 10 politicians and officials whom they accused of involvement in the 2016 killing of Regeni.
Alessandra Ballerini, the Regeni family’s lawyer, said during a press conference that Regeni was killed in an area that falls under the control of an Egyptian security apparatus.
The 28-year-old Cambridge Italian researcher resided in Cairo to do field research for his PhD thesis on independent unions in Egypt. He disappeared last January 25 in central Cairo as police came out in force in anticipation of protests.
His body, bearing signs of torture, was later found by the side of a road.
Police officials at first suggested Regeni might have died in a road accident. They have issued scant information about their investigation.
An Italian autopsy showed that Regeni’s body was covered with cuts and his bones were broken, indicating he had been hit with “fists, batons and hammers.”
Egypt has forcefully denied that its police were involved in his abduction.