The mysterious death of an Egyptian billionaire whose body was found below his Mayfair flat just weeks after accusations that he had spied for Mossad is being investigated by a new team of murder detectives following complaints from family members that key evidence had disappeared.
Dr Ashraf Marwan’s alleged murder is now being overseen by Scotland Yard’s elite Specialist Crime Directorate, after it emerged that shoes worn when he fell five floors to his death could not be found by a previous inquiry team.
The development will only deepen speculation over his death. Israeli commentators claim he was murdered by Egyptian intelligence officers for being the Jewish state’s most important agent in the run-up to the Yom Kippur war in 1973. Egyptian commentators claim he was murdered by Mossad as he prepared to expose Israel’s secrets in an explosive book.
A police source said that the case has been transferred from detectives in Westminster following fevered international speculation over Marwan’s death and the admission that key evidence could not be found. ‘It was decided to move this because of the intricate and public nature of the case. We need to be seen to get this right from here on in,’ the source said.
A family member claimed that a new set of detectives has taken over the case because of criticism over lost evidence. ‘Scotland Yard should have changed their tactics much earlier,’ he said.
Dr Marwan, 62, a businessman and son-in-law of former Egyptian president Nasser and a former political and security adviser to President Sadat, died on 27 June, 2007 after falling from his large flat in Carlton House Terrace. He has been described by historians as the ‘most infamous spy in the Middle East’, who had worked closely with security agencies including MI6, the CIA and the KGB.
His family claim that the only known copy of his nearly finished memoirs – which he had been researching for several years – disappeared from his £4.4m property on the day he died.
One witness has told police that, in the moments after Marwan’s death, two men of ‘Mediterranean appearance’, both wearing suits, were seen peering over a balcony at his body as it lay sprawled in a private garden.
The witness, who asked not to be identified, told The Observer last week: ‘I saw two men standing on a balcony. They were doing nothing, just looking down. Their calmness struck me as unusual. A lady was screaming in the garden. People were rushing around trying to help or call. But these two men were just standing there.’
Marwan’s death came weeks after Eli Zeira, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, claimed that the billionaire was his key informant in the run-up to the Yom Kippur War.
Family members were highly critical of the police investigation into Marwan’s death after it emerged that shoes he had worn on the day he died had disappeared. The shoes were deemed to be crucial because Marwan would have had to step into a plant pot and climb over an air-conditioning unit to have jumped over the metre-high balcony rail. If he had done so, material such as soil from the plant pots or paint would have been left on his shoes. He suffered from a severe nerve condition affecting his feet and could not step into the bath without assistance.
A source close to the investigation has also disclosed that Marwan’s wife, Mona, has told police that her husband warned her three times that he might be murdered. Detectives from Belgravia, who are attached to the Specialist Crime Directorate, have recently been to New York to interview other potential witnesses.
Police have not ruled out suicide; Marwan had a history of heart problems. He moved to Britain after Sadat’s assassination in 1981.
An inquest was due to be held last month, but was suspended because of ongoing investigations. A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police admitted that the shoes worn on the day of his death had disappeared, but declined to comment on the family’s complaints.
‘The reason the investigation has been handed over to the Specialist Crime Directorate is because it is a complicated case and followed a review of the file in January,’ she said.
- Federal probe sought into death of vet on VA hospital campus
- Thai police open internal probe amid outrage over decision to drop charges against Ferrari-driving Red Bull heir who killed cop in hit-and-run
- JOHN HUMPHRYS: What do Amazon billionaires and the oligarchs have in common? They'll both do ANYTHING to hang on to their money
- 'X-A-I': Grimes, 32, gives fans a tutorial on how to pronounce bizarre name of firstborn son X Æ A-12 she shares with billionaire Elon Musk, 48
- China orders US consulate closed, rips 'groundless' Houston spying charges
- Ex-Russian spy poisoned by nerve agent, police say
- Spotlight on 4 Big Tech CEOs testifying in competition probe
- Police arrest Anambra billionaire over alleged illegal possession of gun
- Agency probed abuse reports months before Kansas girl slain
- Herman Cain: Spying on Americans Is Okay, But Not Assassinating Them
- 'I wish her well, frankly': Trump sends message of support to ex-neighbor Ghislaine Maxwell as she awaits trial for sex trafficking minors as the 'madam' of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein
- Trump says he would consider pardons for those implicated in Mueller investigation
- Russia 'tried to influence 2014 Scottish independence referendum but did not interfere in Brexit vote': Long-awaited report laying bare Moscow's meddling in UK will be revealed today
- 'You're a real class act.' Bill Barr snaps at House judiciary chair Jerry Nadler as hearing devolves into a shouting match with Democrats accusing AG of using feds against protesters for 'Trump campaign ads' - then refusing him five-minute break
- Madeleine McCann case: the key events since her 2007 disappearance
- Sir Keir Starmer Should Be Ashamed – He Is An Establishment Stand-Up
- Prosecutor appointed by Barr poised to enter Washington firestorm
- 'Innovation the NASA Way' (US 2014): Book Excerpt
- The Truth About the Tea Party
- How tech tycoons blow their billions – from Elon Musk’s £1m James Bond ‘submarine car’ to Bill Gates’ trampoline room
Yard probes billionaire spy's death have 1031 words, post on www.theguardian.com at October 4, 2008. This is cached page on Asean News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.