Ashraf Marwan's case to be reopened

Jonathan Spollen
3 Min Read

CAIRO: The District Coroner will announce on Sept. 4 the date for the beginning of an inquest into the death of Egyptian billionaire Ashraf Marwan.

The continued investigation will involve new witnesses, and “every line of inquiry will be exhausted, a Scotland Yard spokesperson told Daily News Egypt.

Marwan, an alleged spy, died in suspicious circumstances on June 27, 2007 after reportedly falling from the balcony of his London apartment.

The death was initially deemed “non-suspicious by British Police, but the spokesperson said that the “overwhelming level of interest from both the press and other parties in Egypt pushed Scotland Yard to renew their investigation.

Debate raged within the press and around the blogosphere over whether Marwan was an Israeli spy or an Egyptian double agent, responsible for Israel’s intelligence failures in the 1973 war with Egypt and Syria.

According to Howard Blum, the journalist who disclosed Marwan’s identity in his book, “The Eve of Destruction: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War, Marwan was set to reveal who he was spying for in a book he was writing about the same war.

Finding the manuscript, Blum wrote in an article for the International Herald Tribune, would likely prove key to Scotland Yard’s investigation.

Theories have abounded over the cause of his death, some claiming he was pushed, others supposing he got dizzy and fell and most recently it was put forward he was forced into suicide.

Conflicting witness accounts from friends and family who saw him in the time leading up to his death have added to the confusion.

Marwan’s sister reportedly described him in “good spirits just hours before his death, and family have said Marwan would never commit suicide.

At the same time, an unidentified friend was reported to have said that Marwan’s health was deteriorating, and that he could easily have lost his balance and fell.

“There are several lines of inquiry to pursue, the Scotland Yard spokesperson said.

The billionaire son-in-law of Egypt’s former President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, and a one-time shareholder in Chelsea Football Club, Marwan was a well-connected man.

His funeral was attended by the son of President Hosni Mubarak and head of the National Democratic Party’s Policy Secretariat Gamal Mubarak, Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, senior government officials and several prominent businessmen. The funeral prayers were led by Al-Azhar Sheikh, Mohamed Sayed Tantawi.

The day following his funeral, President Hosni Mubarak reportedly said that Marwan “carried out patriotic acts, which it is not yet time to reveal, and called him a “patriot.

It is hoped Scotland Yard investigation is sure to shed light on a case that has confounded police, the press, and the public.

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