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Italian parliamentary panel blames Egyptian security for murder of Giulio Regeni

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows Italian student Giulio Regeni who was killed in Egypt in 2016.

An Italian parliamentary panel has blamed the Egyptian security apparatus for the 2016 abduction, torture and murder of student Giulio Regeni in Cairo.

Regeni disappeared in Cairo in January 2016 while he was in the Egyptian capital doing research on trade unions for a doctorate at Britain's Cambridge University. His mutilated body was found nearly a week later on the outskirts of the city.

"Responsibility for the kidnapping, torture and killing of Giulio Regeni rests directly on the security apparatus of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and in particular on officials of the National Security Agency (NSA), as minutely reconstructed by the investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office in Rome," the special parliamentary commission said in its final report over the death of Regeni which was published on Wednesday.

Investigators believe Regeni was kidnapped and murdered after being mistaken for a foreign spy.

The final report came weeks after an Italian court threw out the trial in abstentia of the four Egyptian security officers over their suspected role after Egypt refused to reveal the defendants’ whereabouts.

Italian prosecutors have accused Cairo of undermining their investigation.

"The halt in the (trial) proceedings is purely procedural and in no way prejudices the conclusions reached by the prosecutors, which this panel fully shares," the report said.

The panel also said, "It is time to remind Egypt of its responsibilities as a state, which are very clear and significant regarding the fate of Giulio Regeni and go beyond the penally significant responsibilities of its agents."

A new preliminary hearing in the case before a judge in Rome is scheduled for January.

The case of Regeni has sparked tensions between Rome and Cairo, but Italy last year approved a $1.2-billion sale of two warships to Egypt, drawing heavy criticism from Regeni's family.

In February 2016, Egypt's then Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar admitted to human rights abuses committed by police in a rare apologetic statement by Egyptian authorities following public outrage on social media after a policeman killed a driver with his service weapon in Cairo that month, as well as the murder of Regeni.

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