Friday, 16 July 2010

Inquest in to death of Egyptian billionaire finds no foul-play

In June 2007 Egyptian billionaire, Dr Ashraf Marwan, was found dead in his central London home. Marwan fell from the balcony of his fourth-floor flat in central London. The exact circumstances surrounding his death were unclear.

In 2002, five years prior to his death, Marwan had been exposed as a spy by historian Ahron Bregman. Talking about the Egyptian billionaire, Bregman said that Marwan was a double agent who tried to warn Israelis about the impending Egyptian attack that became the Yom Kippur war.

"Dr Marwan was a master spy - he was involved with the Israelis since 1969. In my view, he misled them - he worked for Egypt. He was involved with the Italians since 1971 and with the Americans since 1975,” said Bregman.

There were speculations about the circumstances of Marwan's death, fears of suicide and the possibility of assassination. But a recent inquest in central London returned an open verdict on the billionaire's death. Dr William Dolman, assistant deputy coroner for Westminster, said there was no evidence to suggest that Marwan committed suicide, and further added that Marwan did not exhibit any signs of "mental or psychiatric disorder". According to Bregman, however, the Egyptian billionaire was terrified by the thought of assassination, which played heaving on his mind.

"He mentioned at least twice to me that he was afraid and concerned about assassination. He even mentioned Mossad, and I said to him at the time, and I still believe now, that it is not in the interests of an organisation like Mossad to assassinate him because it would make it more difficult to recruit more spies," said Bregman.

The coroner, however, found no evidence of foul-play, Mossad involvement or murder. Two witnesses, both former business associates of Marwan, told the inquest that they had seen the businessman step to his death from his balcony.

Source: BBC News

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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