Egypt’s state television broadcast a video recording late on Sunday evening of a conversation between slain Italian researcher Giulio Regeni and a member of the Egyptian street vendors union, who can be heard asking Regeni for cash for personal use.
“Mohamed, the money will not be mine, and I can’t, in any way, use it for a personal favor to you. I’m an academic, and I can’t write in an application to a British institution that I want to use the money for personal reasons,” Regeni tells the union member in Arabic.
“Don’t you have another way to take it for personal use?” Mohamed asks.
“I don’t know. This money is not given to me,” Regeni responds. “The UK will give the money to the Egyptian center, which will give it to the vendors union. I don’t know how to get it for you. I’m sorry. I don’t have any authority in this matter.”
Regeni then takes the union member through the steps of applying for a grant on behalf of the union, telling him that, if he has an idea, he can gather information for a potential project that can be used in the application.
Egypt’s general prosecutor conceded to the Italian investigation team in September that Regeni had been put under police surveillance after street vendors union chief Mohamed Abdallah submitted a report about the researcher. The concession came after Egyptian security officials had denied in February that Regeni was under any form of scrutiny.
Broadcast of the video follows a statement issued earlier on Sunday by Egypt’s general prosecutor, announcing that he had agreed to the Italian prosecutor’s request to dispatch a team of experts to Cairo to retrieve footage from surveillance cameras in the Dokki Metro station, where Regeni was known to be traveling before he disappeared.
The team of experts will be comprised of Italian technical specialists and representatives from a German company specializing in the retrieval of lost data and video footage, according to General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek.
However, the statement also added that Egyptian prosecutors handed over several pieces of evidence to Italian authorities during their last meeting in December, including a disc containing footage of a conversation that occurred between Regeni and a representative of the street vendors union before the researcher disappeared. It is not known whether the footage broadcast on Sunday night was among the material handed over to the Italian authorities in December.
The body of the 28-year-old Italian student was found in a suburb of Cairo on February 3, 2016, a week after he disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the January 25 revolution. The corners who conducted an autopsy on Regeni’s body in Rome stated that the researcher had been tortured over the course of several days, before he died from a broken vertebrae.
A Reuters article published in April stated that Regeni was detained in a National Security Agency compound before he was killed, citing six anonymous sources from the police and intelligence services.
In response to what it called a lack of cooperation from Egyptian authorities in the investigation, the Italian government recalled its ambassador to Cairo in April for consultation.