Italy / Egypt. The chief prosecutor of Rome Pignatone states the summit with Egyptian investigators failed. Stop to the one way cooperation.  Minister recalls the Italian Ambassador in Cairo for consultations. Massari will probably come back today. Renzi insists: "We will not stop until we get the real truth."  Cairo reacts amazed: "So far, we have not been informed. We wait for the return of our investigators'

The farce is over: diplomatic crisis on the Regeni case 

Stop to the one way cooperation. The Italian ambassador in Cairo, Maurizio Massari, recalled back home for consultations, probably today.

The chief prosecutor of Rome, Giuseppe Pignatone, announced that the summit with Egyptian investigators failed.

This was supposed to be the “change of gears” promoted by the Italian Government and promised by General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi,  Matteo Renzi’s “friend”.

The lack of collaboration by the Cairo authorities started from the moment Giulio Regeni died, and it continued in the long confrontation that lasted two days, at the School of Police on Via Guido Reni in Rome, around a dossier full-bodied and exhaustive of all Italian requests that proved yet another farce.

Pignatone said it was enough. And the decision of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Paolo Gentiloni was immediate: “I recalled our ambassador in Egypt to Rome for consultations. We want only one thing: the truth about Giulio Regeni “.

“We want only one thing: the truth about Giulio Regeni.” Italian FM Paolo Gentiloni

The diplomatic crisis is open.

The break is sanctioned by the words of Matteo Renzi, in a press conference from Palazzo Chigi: “Italy has made a commitment to the Regeni family, in our view the assessment the investigators and prosecutors must do is crucial. Prosecutor Pignatone and his collaborators provided their feedback after talks with the Egyptian investigators and the decision of the Italian government came immediately after. The ambassador’s recall is a sign of the respect of the commitment of the Italian government: we will stop only in front of the truth, the real one. ”

“Italy has made a commitment to the Regeni family, we will stop only in front of the truth, the real one. ” Italian PM Matteo Renzi

The initial reactions from Cairo – while the team of prosecutors and senior police officers left Rome to go back to Egypt one day earlier than originally planned – demonstrate the disbelief of a regime that was confident in the strength of the Italian economic interests and the European political-military ones: “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – said last night the ministry headed by Sameh Shoukri in a statement – so far has not been officially informed of the recall of Italy’s ambassador to Cairo for consultations on the context of the Regeni murder and the reasons for this recall, especially as there was no statement on the results of the between meeting the Egyptian and Italian investigative teams. The Ministry expects the return of the delegation of Egyptian investigators and waits to hear their assessment of the outcome of the meetings.”

In fact there was a press release, and it was even a “joint” one, as had been announced upon the arrival of the Egyptian team headed by Assistant Attorney General Mostafa Soliman. But it is nothing more than a verbal record of intentions: reiteration of the intention to carry out justice, both parties confirmed that “no investigative trail is excluded”, reaffirmed the full willingness of the Egyptian authorities to a partnership that “will continue through the exchange of investigation reports until we will reach the truth.”

But the Rome prosecutors, while maintaining an institutional aplomb, puts on record that the Egyptian team “reported the circumstances through which documents of Giulio Regeni were recently unearthed and that only at the end of the investigation, it will be possible to establish the role that the criminal gang, involved in the events of March 24th, 2016, has had in the death of the Italian young man. The Rome prosecutor reiterated its conviction that there is no evidence of direct involvement of the criminal gang in the torture and death of Giulio Regeni”.

Incredibly then, the Egyptian judicial authorities again pointed to the last red herring, supposedly issued directly by the Minister of the Interior Magdi Abdel Ghaffar, to “reassure” the Italian ally.

In the meantime, there is no trace of the two thousand page investigative dossier announced on the Cairo government media: “The Italian authorities received- continues the statement of the prosecutor in Rome – the phone records of Egyptian phones used by two Italian friends of Giulio Regeni present in Cairo last January, the inspection report with photos of the discovery of Regeni’s body attached, a note reporting on the organizers of the trade union conference held in Cairo on December 11th 2015, which was attended by Giulio Regeni. They reported that there were no official video recordings of the meeting. ”

Nothing else than what was presented on the past March 14th during the first meeting with Italian investigators in Cairo. They did not even answered to the request of the cell tower traffic data asked for two months ago by prosecutor Pignatone and prosecutor Sergio Colaiocco: “The Egyptian judicial authorities announced that it will deliver the results at the end of their investigations that are still ongoing. The prosecutor of Rome insisted that the delivery takes place as soon as possible, stressing the importance of performing such assessment with the advanced equipment available in Italy.”

Lip service, destined to remain so, unless accompanied by a sign of the strong political will of the Italian government. Which finally arrived.

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