Egypt's ministry of interior slammed a report by a news agency which claimed that anonymous sources told the agency slain Italian student Guilio Regeni was seen in the custody of authorities on the night he disappeared.
In an official statement released on Thursday evening, an interior ministry media spokesperson said that reports published by one news agency that police or any other sovereign authorities stopped the Italian student and transferred him to a police facility were unfounded.
Earlier on Thursday, Reuters reported that several police and intelligence sources, who spoke to the agency on condition of anonymity, said that 28 PhD student Regeni had been detained by police on the 25 January in a police station near Ramsis Square in Cairo and held for thirty minutes before authorities transferred him to the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in Downtown Cairo.
The ministry said it reserves its right to take all legal measures against those who "promote such rumors and false news".
Regeni vanished from the streets of Cairo in the evening hours of 25 January, and his dead body was discovered in a ditch on the outskirts of the city nine days later, showing signs of extensive torture.
Egypt has repeatedly denied accusations by some critics locally and internationally that its authorities were involved in the killing of Regeni.
The Egyptian authorities have been conducting an investigation into the murder of the Italian student, but have been unable so far to identify the perpetrators.
Earlier this month, an Egyptian security delegation visited Rome to share its up-to-date findings in the case with their Italian counterparts.
The inability of the Egyptian authorities to apprehend those who killed Regeni has strained relations between Cairo and Rome, who enjoy strong political and economic ties.
Italian police and government officials have urged Cairo to do more to make available to Rome information they believe would help in resolving the case.