A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Ashraf Marwan Verdict: "Open Verdict"

The British Coroner's Inquest into the 2007 death of Ashraf Marwan (see my post yesterday for the background) is in, and it is an "Open Verdict," which seems to be British for Damned if We Know. British press reports say the coroner "ruled out any suggestion" of suicide but found "absolutely no evidence" that he was murdered. So if he didn't jump and there's no proof he was pushed, why did he go off the balcony?

Mona Nasser, Marwan's widow and a daughter of Gamal Abdel Nasser, was quoted as saying, "The truth will come out. They are still discovering things about Tutankhamun." Well, yes, but that could mean waioting a long time. (And Zahi Hawass would get the credit.)

The Daily Mail has some direct quotes from the coroner:

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.'

Confused yet? Of course, the disappearance of his memoirs, among other mysteries, suggests foul play, but clearly, whoever did it it left few clues. It may indeed take a very long time, if ever, for the real story to emerge.

1 comment:

LJ Marczak said...

Given the apparent pattern of Egyptians mysteriously "falling" from buildings in England, I'm wondering why the Inquest did not seriously examine the possibility of one or more architectural flaws in UK building design.