A senior Egyptian official says his country has rejected an Italian request to hand over the phone records of mobile subscribers in the Cairo district where an Italian doctoral student resided before being abducted, tortured and killed.

Senior prosecutor Mustafa Suleiman was addressing a news conference on Saturday, a day after Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt to protest what it described as a lack of cooperation in the investigation of the case of Giulio Regeni, whose body was found in February, nine days after he disappeared, bearing signs of torture.

Suleiman says Egypt rejected the request because it violated Egyptian laws and the constitution.

Suleiman led a senior judicial and security team that visited Rome earlier this week to review the case with Italian officials.