Marawan probe put off
BRITAIN's forensic court and Scotland Yard have agreed to postpone to 4 September the starting date of investigations into last month's death of Ashraf Marawan, a chief aide to former President Anwar El-Sadat, reports Abdel - Rahman El - Sayed.
Informed sources said the postponement of the opening session, to have been held in mid-August, was to allow Scotland Yard investigators more time to question witnesses into the cause of the death of Marawan, who fell from the fifth floor balcony of his home in central London on 27 June.
"The postponement came after Scotland Yard said it needed to speak to several other witnesses," a Scotland Yard official said. None of the names of the witnesses or their nationalities have been publicly revealed.
"Investigators hope they will conclude the questioning of witnesses within the next couple of weeks," she said.
"We go in all directions that might have a connection to the case and which might explain what happened exactly," she added.
Informed sources close to Scotland Yard told Al - Ahram Weekly that forensic court sessions might be delayed even further. "If by 4 September investigators believe they need more time, they will ask for another postponement," the source said.
THREE forts have been discovered on the edge of the Sinai Desert, part of a string of 11 castles that made up the Horus military road that stretched from Suez to Rafah and which dates back to the 18th and 19th dynasties.
The Egyptian discovery of the massive Fort Tharo and two other fortresses by French and American teams confirmed the existence of the Horus fortifications described in ancient text.
Fort Tharo, the military headquarters of the eastern defence of Egypt, was surrounded by 13-metre-tall thick mud brick walls running 500 metres and punctuated by 24 huge towers.
THE ORGANISATION for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has announced that Egypt's direct foreign investment increased 12 fold from 2001 to 2006, reaching $6.1 billion in the fiscal year 2005-2006 and $9 billion in the first nine months of 2006-2007. The figures compare favourably with those of 2001 during which foreign investment totalled only $0.5 billion.
The figures, released on 23 July, ascribed the rise in investment to the success of the government's political reform policies which has helped remove obstacles in the way of local and foreign investment; the reform of the taxation and customs systems; and the establishment of the Ministry of Investment and evolving investment laws. The report added that Egypt had been enjoying complete freedom in a number of sectors including communication, financial and industry in addition to allowing foreigners to own 100 per cent of shares in communication and financial services.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alaa El-Hadidi described the report as testimony to the success of the Egyptian government in implementing financial and economic reform policies. He added that the OECD had invited Egypt to sign an international investment declaration this month, becoming the first Arab and African state to join the treaty.
AT LEAST 22 members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood (MB) have been arrested in the northern coastal city of Marsa Matrouh. The MBs are mainly university students and civil servants who were arrested at a holiday camp which security sources said had been set up to recruit new members.
A 25-YEAR-OLD woman has tested positive for bird flu, bringing to 38 the number of those afflicted with the deadly strain in Egypt. Fifteen people have died.
Naema Abdu Gamil contracted the H5N1 virus after coming into contact with dead chickens in Damietta. She is reportedly in stable condition and is being treated with Tamiflu.
In June, the World Health Organisation said the fight against bird flu had improved around the world, but added the situation remains critical in Egypt and Indonesia where the risk of the virus mutating into a major human threat remains high.