Cambridge professor from Egypt to be questioned by authorities investigating the death of Phd student Giulio Regeni

Giulio Regeni seen here on a posted held by an Egyptian activist. (Reuters)
Updated 03 January 2018
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Cambridge professor from Egypt to be questioned by authorities investigating the death of Phd student Giulio Regeni

DUBAI: Italian authorities this month will begin questioning the Egyptian tutor of the Cambridge student Giulio Regeni, who was murdered in Cairo in 2016.

A British judge gave the green light to Italian interrogators to interview Professor Maha Mahfouz Abdelrahman, after she agreed to be questioned, according to British daily The Guardian.

The decision was announced last month after Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano met with British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson.

Regeni, 28, was carrying out research on Egypt’s independent trade unions as part of his PhD at Girton College when he disappeared on Jan. 25, 2016.

His tortured body was found on a main road outside Cairo two weeks later. Suspicions were raised that he had been kidnapped and killed by the Egyptian security forces.

Italian magistrates investigating the case previously complained of limited cooperation from Egyptian authorities and Abdelrahman, who previously lived in Egypt, before moving to the UK to lecture in Cambridge at the department of politics and international relations.

Computer records submitted to the courts and leaked by the Italian daily La Repubblica revealed that Regeni might have felt pressured by his research.

In a Skype chat Regeni told his mother in October 2015 he was “going deeper into the subject” because it was uncharted territory and “because Maha insisted.”

Investigators want to question Abdelrahman about who chose the research topic and who chose the questions Regeni put to traders shortly before he disappeared, 18 days after having been filmed and photographed by a trade union official who was also reportedly a security service informer.


Australia reaffirms Israel decision despite backlash

Updated 1 min 53 sec ago
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Australia reaffirms Israel decision despite backlash

SYDNEY: Australia’s conservative prime minister on Sunday stood by his decision to recognize west Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, despite criticism from neighboring Muslim countries.
Canberra became one of a handful of governments to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognize the contested city as Israel’s capital, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had announced Saturday.
But a contentious embassy shift from Tel Aviv — a proposal made during a crucial Sydney by-election that critics said was timed to attract Jewish voters — will not occur until a peace settlement is achieved.
Australia’s Muslim-majority neighbor Malaysia said Sunday it “strongly opposes” the decision to recognize west Jerusalem.
The announcement was “premature and a humiliation to the Palestinians and their struggle for the right to self-determination,” the government said in a statement advocating a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Australia’s immediate neighbor Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, was angered by the embassy move proposal in the run-up to the by-election, and said Saturday it “notes” the decision.
Citing Jakarta’s response, Morrison said Sunday that the international reaction had been “measured” and that his decision would progress a two-state solution.
“I think the responses that we have seen from countries so far has been measured,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
“Australia would continue to respect a two-state outcome that remained our goal as strongly as ever.”
Israel’s embassy in Canberra on Sunday said the decision was a “step in the right direction.”
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.
Most foreign nations avoided moving embassies there to prevent inflaming peace talks on the city’s final status — until Trump unilaterally moved the US embassy earlier this year.
Morrison’s embattled coalition slipped into a minority government after losing the Sydney by-election in October, which followed the Liberal party’s ousting of the local member and then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.