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'Mossad double agent' who fell from window WASN'T murdered, says coroner - but widow insists death was foul play

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07/14/2010 01:49 PM
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'Mossad double agent' who fell from window WASN'T murdered, says coroner - but widow insists death was foul play
[link to www.dailymail.co.uk]

The death of a billionaire Egyptian accused of being a double agent remained a mystery today after a coroner said it was impossible to say how he died.

The family of Dr Ashraf Marwan had claimed the 63-year-old was murdered to 'ensure his silence' and a potentially explosive memoir stolen by the killer from the exclusive Mayfair apartment in Central London, where he fell to his death from a fifth-floor balcony in June 2007.

But Coroner Dr William Dolman recorded an 'open verdict' on the son-in-law of the late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, admitting questions remained despite investigations by Scotland Yard and involving both MI5 and MI6.

He said there was no evidence that Dr Marwan had been unlawfully killed or committed suicide, stressing : 'Unanswered questions are perhaps inevitable in a case which involves allegations of international misdoings and the murky and secret world of espionage.'

Welcoming the verdict outside Westminster Coroner's Court in Central London, Dr Mawan's widow, Mona, insisted : 'He was murdered. I'm sure that there was somebody else involved.

'The truth will come out. They are still discovering things about Tutankhamun.'

She added: 'How can he fall? Never. He was pushed.'

Ms Nasser said she believes her husband was killed by agents of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.

The industrialist's widow had told the court that her husband had warned her in the days before his body was found in the rose garden beneath his home in Carlton House Terrace : 'I am in danger - I might be killed by my enemies.

'For the last two years he was frightened. He would always say "My life is in danger" but he was a risk taker and he was brave.'

Dr Marwan, who had been a trusted aide to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, had been writing his memoirs, but neither the manuscript nor the tapes filled with his dictated notes for the book were found after his death.

His family believed the contents of the book were so politically sensitive that he was silenced.

He had been named in a 2002 book by an Israeli historian as a Mossad spy who tipped off Israel about the 1973 Yom Kippur invasion.

However, Israeli media later reported that he was in fact a double agent who gave Jerusalem misleading information about the war, which began when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

Dr Marwan's book consultant, Ahron Bregman, claimed that the report 'put him in danger' and they were due to meet to discuss it the day that he met his death.

Mr Bregman confirmed that Dr Marwan's memoirs focused on the events of October 1973, the month Egypt attempted to invade Israel.

His widow denied he was a double agent in her evidence, but she said he was worried about his safety after the publication of court proceedings in Israel involving intelligence agencies.

Dr Marwan, who had a serious heart condition and generally walked with a stick, was seen on the balcony of his flat late on the morning of June 27 2007.

The Coroner noted that the balcony wall was just 3ft (1.04m) high and said it was 'more than possible' that Dr Marwan might have leant forward and fallen over it.

Dr Dolman continued : 'How did Mr Marwan leave the balcony and end up on the ground?

'There are three possibilities: Was he pushed? Did he jump or did he fall?'

He said that the evidence was inconclusive and the conclusion that Dr Marwan had leaned and fallen would be mere speculation.

Dr Dolman continued: 'It is possible that a third party got into the flat and been threatening him forcing him over, that too is a speculation.

'There is absolutely no evidence to allow me even to consider the verdict of suicide.

'The is also absolutely no evidence on which I can base the verdict of unlawful killing. We simply don't know the facts in spite of careful investigation.'

Dr Marwan was decorated by the Egyptian state for his role in the Yom Kippur war.

His funeral in Cairo was attended by high-profile mourners, including President Hosni Mubarak's son, Gamal.

He had moved to London after the 1981 assassination of Sadat and kept a low profile.