Family of Giulio Regeni ‘betrayed’ by Italian PM over arms sale to Egypt

Murdered student’s mother and rights groups condemn $1.2bn deal approved by Giuseppe Conte

Rights groups and the family of the murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni have heavily criticised an arms deal between Italy and Egypt worth an estimated $1.2bn (£960m).

Regeni’s mutilated body was found by the side of a major road on the outskirts of Cairo in early 2016. His murder remains unsolved, but there are widespread suspicions that he was abducted, tortured and killed by Egyptian security forces.

“The Italian state has betrayed us,” Regeni’s mother, Paola Deffendi, said in an interview aired on Friday on the television show Propaganda Live. “We were betrayed by friendly fire, not by Egypt. One cannot expect to struggle against one’s state for justice. This is a betrayal for all Italians who believe in the inviolability of rights.”

Erasmo Palazzotto, who leads a parliamentary commission investigating Regeni’s death, said that in light of the latest significant developments the commission wanted to speak to Conte urgently.

Giorgio Beretta, an analyst of the arms trade for the website Osservatorio Diritti, said: “What country would ever sell an entire military arsenal to an autocrat who allows the murder of one of its citizens?”