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Sunday, 24 April 2016

Reuters says Regeni was detained by police prior to his death, Interior Ministry threatens legal action against wire

Reuters reports Regeni detained by police before death; Interior Ministry threatens legal action. Intelligence and police sources told Reuters that murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni “had been detained by police and then transferred to a compound run by Homeland Security the day he vanished,” contradicting an official Egyptian account that security services had not arrested him. The claims were made by “three Egyptian intelligence officials and three police sources independently.” Meanwhile, an official from Homeland Security, Mohamed Ibrahim, said, "There is no connection whatsoever between Regeni and the police or Interior Ministry or Homeland Security. He has never been held in any police station or here.” The Interior Ministry corroborated the statement, saying any claims to the contrary were in no way “grounded in truth” and adding that it had the right to pursue legal action against “promoters of false news,” according to a statement posted on their official Facebook page on Thursday. Ahram Online reported on Friday that security officials said the Legal Affairs Department of the ministry filed a criminal complaint with central Cairo’s Qasr al-Nil police station against Reuters and its Cairo bureau chief, Michael Georgy, accusing them of “spreading false news aimed at disturbing public order.” A Reuters spokesman told CPJ later Friday that the news agency could not confirm the wire was facing legal action The Interior Ministry later denied filing it at all, according to BBC. Meanwhile, the US has thrown its hat into the ring, saying “the details that have come to light since Regeni’s death have raised questions “…that we believe can only be answered through an impartial and comprehensive inquiry,” according to State Department spokesman John Kirby during a briefing.

…A different angle: CNN’s Sarah El Sirgany covers the story of Rasha Tarek, whose father, husband, and brother were killed by the police after being linked to the murder of Regeni. The Interior Ministry claimed they were outlaws killed in a shootout. Police said the family had “extensive criminal records and specialized in kidnapping and mugging foreigners, impersonating policemen to do so” but stopped short of accusing them of the murder him directly. Tarek admits some of those killed had criminal records, but says “her father and brother couldn’t read or write, much less speak another language to communicate with foreigners.”

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