CAIRO: British authorities have opened a public investigation into the controversial death of Egyptian businessman Ashraf Marwan, Independent Mehwar satellite TV channel reported Thursday.
On June 27, 2007, Marwan, the son-in-law of late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, allegedly fell to his death from the balcony of his apartment in London, raising questions and speculations of a possible homicide.
“All what I know is that Ashraf Marwan was assassinated. Suicide is out of question,” Marwan’s cousin, Hossam Marwan, told “48 Hours” talk show.
He added that a manager of a factory owned by the deceased saw him being pushed from the balcony where some men were waiting for his body to hit the ground.
The 62-year-old billionaire was believed to have been a double agent for Israeli and Egyptian intelligence during the 1973 war between Egypt and Israel.
Speculations indicated that he was murdered by the Israeli intelligence Mossad.
“Most probably Marwan was killed and that Mossad had a role in his murder,” Abdel-Aleem Mohamed, advisor at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told Daily News Egypt.
“Marwan provided Egypt critical information about Israel. He also misled the Mossad before 1973 war, submitting false data about the zero hour,” Mohamed added.
Independent Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported Thursday that the decision to open a public investigation came in response to requests by Marwan’s family. Earlier investigations were confidential.
"Holding secret investigations for such a long period means that the case either involves suspects of different nationalities, or that investigators took a wrong turn, assuming that it was a suicide," Sameh Seif El-Yazal, head of Cairo’s Gomhuriya Center for Criminal Research, told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Editor-in-Chief of independent El-Fagr newspaper Adel Hammouda previously told Daily News Egypt that two months before Marwan died, he had been saying that he feared assassination. At that time, Marwan was planning to write and publish his autobiography.
Hamouda added that the apartment building from which Marwan fell was originally the building of the French Embassy and that it was built like a castle, with windows secured with iron rods, making it impossible for anyone to fall off.
Marwan, who was married to Abdel-Nasser’s daughter Mona, had been living in London for many years since the assassination of late President Anwar Al-Sadat in 1981.