Egyptian media and lawmakers have accused the Muslim Brotherhood of bribing European Parliament members to adopt a resolution stating a "grave concern" that Egyptian authorities might be culprits in the torture and killing of an Italian graduate student in Egypt.
The Thursday resolution condemned the killing of 28-year-old researcher and graduate student Giulio Regeni, whose body was found with torture marks nine days after he vanished in Cairo on Jan. 25 — when police were out in force to quash any signs of protest on the anniversary of Egypt's 2011 uprising. Egyptian authorities say they are investigating the case.
The resolution stated that the European Parliament is concerned the case "is not an isolated incident, but that it occurred within a context of torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years."
Evening talk shows are one of Egypt's main shapers of public opinion. On Saturday night, a steady stream of hosts and guests outlined a variety of conspiracy theories designed to weaken and isolate Egypt — with the help of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and a collection of anti-Egypt human rights organizations.
"The Muslim Brotherhood pays all these people in Europe ... they have influence over all these people," lawmaker and retired Maj. Gen. Hamdy Bekheet told the el-Mehwar channel late Saturday.
In the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper's Sunday edition, a headline read: "The European Parliament has fallen in the trap of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Ahmed Moussa, one of the country's most popular talk show hosts, insinuated Saturday that the Italian embassy may be covering up crucial evidence in the case that would link Regeni's death to a personal dispute.
Moussa claimed on the Sada el-Balad channel that the Italian consulate's cameras have captured footage of Regeni and another Italian man in a quarrel close to the consulate, a day before Regeni disappeared.
"I am here challenging the Italian ambassador in Cairo to release the information he has," said Moussa.
Mokhtar Noah, a member of the National Council for Human Rights — was another accuser, telling the al-Assema channel that "Europe (only) talks about its issues that are related to toppling the steadfast Egyptian regime."
Italian officials have repeatedly complained of a lack of transparency from Cairo in the Regeni investigation.
The Italian news agency ANSA reported on March 3 that the head of the Italian National Intelligence and Security Department, Giampiero Massolo, told Italian TV that the case "is not marked by full, satisfactory collaboration with Egypt."
The Italian Foreign Ministry said on March 2 that its embassy in Cairo had received some documents from Egyptian investigators, but it was only "a part of the material requested."
The documents included witness statements made to Egyptian authorities, data from Regeni's cell phone and "a partial synthesis" of the autopsy report.