A-G closes investigation into former MI chief Zeira

In decision, Weinstein cites "complex circumstances" of case in which Zeira was accused of exposing Egyptian as Israeli spy.

July 9, 2012 11:39
1 minute read.
Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein [file]

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein 370 (R). (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)


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Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein on Monday announced the decision to shelve an investigation into former Military Intelligence chief Eli Zeira for allegedly exposing the late Egyptian businessman Ashraf Marwan as an Israeli spy.

Weinstein said that following deliberations, he decided to close the case in light of the complex circumstances surrounding it. He noted, however, that the decision does not detract from the severity of the alleged acts.

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The implications of the case for senior civil service officials – both while actively serving and after retiring – were considered, especially the obligation not to reveal secrets, he added.

Former Mossad director Zvi Zamir lodged a complaint against Zeira at the attorney-general’s office in 2010.

Zamir has long accused Zeira, who headed Military Intelligence during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, of leaking Marwan’s alleged role as a spy to the press.

In 2007, Marwan, aged 63 at the time, fell to his death from the balcony of his London home. A coroner’s inquest was held to determine whether he had died by suicide, accident or foul play.

In July 2010, a UK coroner said the cause of Marwan’s death was inconclusive, but added that there was no evidence to support either suicide or unlawful killing.


Marwan was the son-in-law of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and a trusted aide to Nasser’s successor, Anwar Sadat.

Historians and intelligence agents have accused Marwan of being an Israeli spy who passed on vital information before the war – or, alternatively, of being a double agent loyal to Egypt.

Marwan’s role as a supplier of intelligence – or disinformation – to Israel resurfaced in the Israeli media in 2010 after the State Archive released previously classified memos of emergency inner cabinet meetings prior to and during the Yom Kippur War.

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

His funeral in Cairo was attended by high-profile mourners, including former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s son, Gamal.

Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.

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