Middle East

Egypt: Italian's killers may have had criminal or revenge motive

Giulio Regeni's funeral Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Regeni's funeral was held in Fiumicello earlier this month

Egypt has said it is investigating the possibility that the recent killing of an Italian student in Cairo may have been motivated by crime or revenge.

The interior ministry said there were "several possibilities including criminal activity or the desire for revenge due to personal reasons".

International media and Egyptian activists have suggested Giulio Regeni's death may have come at the hands of the security forces.

Egyptian officials have dismissed this.

The interior ministry's latest statement again rejected the accusations as "rumours" and "false information".

It made no mention of the security forces and referred to Mr Regeni's "many relationships with people near where he lived and where he studied" as a possible factor in his death.

Sensitive topic

Mr Regeni, a graduate student at Cambridge University, was attached to the American University in Cairo where he was researching Egyptian trade unions and labour rights.

Staff there have spoken of the subject area being a sensitive topic in Egypt.

Mr Regeni disappeared on 25 January, the fifth anniversary of the start of protests which forced former President Hosni Mubarak from power.

His mutilated body was found a week later dumped by a roadside in the outskirts of Cairo.

A senior source at Egypt's forensics authority told Reuters news agency that the student had seven broken ribs, signs of electrocution on his genitals, widespread trauma injuries and a brain haemorrhage.

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