Egypt's police denied that an Italian student who was recently found dead in Egypt had been in custody as he disappeared days before his recent murder.
A media official from Egypt’s Ministry of Interior "dismissed [on Monday] reports in Western media that Giulio Regeni was arrested by Egyptian security before his death," the ministry said in a statement Monday.
The New York Times reported on Friday that eyewitnesses claimed that the student was “led away by two men believed to be Egyptian security agents,” on the night he disappeared.
The newspaper also reported that, “three security officials said Mr. Regeni had indeed been taken into custody."
These claims were later published in an Italian paper.
On Friday, Italian newspaper Il Corriere Della Sera said a street vendor told Italian investigators that he saw plain-clothed officers "taking" Regeni outside a metro station the evening he vanished.
The newspaper also reported that Regeni feared for his safety after noticing that he was being photographed by an unknown observer while attending a meeting with fellow researchers on 11 December.
The Egyptian interior ministry said information published about Regeni's disappearance is "completely incorrect," adding that a team of investigators is in "complete cooperation" with the Italian authorities to determine the circumstances of the killing.
The ministry added that results of the investigation will be made public once "definite information is obtained."
Italy has sent investigators to work with Egyptian authorities to determine the circumstances of Regeni's death.
The body of Regeni, a PhD student who had been conducting research on independent trade union movements in Egypt, was found with signs of torture along a road on the outskirts of Cairo earlier in February. The discovery of Regini's body came nine days after he disappeared on 25 January, the five-year anniversary of the 2011 revolution.
Two days following the discovery of Regeni's body, the corpse was repatriated upon Rome's request.
An autopsy conducted by Italian authorities in Rome revealed that the 28-year-old was subjected to torture.
Egypt's Forensic Authority sent its own autopsy report to the general prosecution on Saturday. The reports findings have not been made public yet.