Slain Italian student Giulio Regeni was not arrested by Egyptian police on the day he disappeared, nor subsequently, pro-government Arabic daily Youm7 said Thursday, citing Egyptian interior ministry sources.
"Police did not detain Regeni. Nor did they hold him any police station," Youm7's website quoted the unnamed sources as saying.
The sources dismissed as "rumours aimed at undermining Egypt's security and institutions"human rights groups' claims that national security services were behind the killing of 28-year-old Regeni.
Regeni's mutilated, half-naked body bearing signs of torture was allegedly found in a ditch on Cairo's western outskirts on 3 February, nine days after he vanished in the capital on 25 January.
"There was no reason to torture a young Italian studying in Egypt. The role of the police is to protect people, not to torture them," said the sources, cited by Youm7.
Italy on 8 April recalled its ambassador to Egypt after the failure of talks between Italian and Egyptian officials aimed at ending the deadlock over a probe into Regeni's brutal murder.
Egypt made no arrests over the Cambridge University PhD student's killing and the lines of its murder enquiry, including personal vendetta and an alleged kidnapping gang disguised in police uniforms, have met with disbelief in Italy.
Regeni was researching independent trade unions, a sensitive topic in Egypt and had written articles critical of the government that were published in an Italian newspaper under a pseudonym.