DEATH AT THE EMBASSY

A diplomat may have decided to abort a suicide bid shortly before he plunged from the roof of the Egyptian embassy, an inquest heard today.

Ayman Mohammed Fayed, 41, left a suicide note in Arabic telling his wife to ‘look after the children’ before climbing out the window of his third floor office.

But witnesses then saw the father-of-three desperately trying to pull himself back inside the building shortly before plummeting into the street below.

Mr Fayed, an administrative and financial attache, was pronounced dead at 4.10pm after sustaining multiple fractures and massive brain damage, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told.

Kamala Badawi, who worked in another embassy building on the opposite side of South Street, Mayfair, central London, was watching from a window and at first assumed he was trying to break into the building.

‘He appeared to be trying to get into the building,’ she said in a statement.

‘That’s why I thought he was breaking in.

‘He was trying to push his top half through the window and lift himself to get in.’

She went to alert embassy bosses and then heard a loud bang, the court was told.

‘I went to the window and the man was no longer there,’ she added.

‘My feeling was he had lost control and fell.’

Det Insp Andrew Fleming said the death on January 14 had coincided with the start
of events that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

‘It was just at the start of the trouble in the country,’ he told the court.

‘There had been problems between the Christians and the Muslim Brotherhood and that almost led straight into the disruption that led to the president resigning.’

But embassy colleagues did not know of any reason he would want to kill
himself, he added.

Det Insp Fleming said the evidence suggested Mr Fayed, of (179) Lanark Road, Maida Vale, west London, had changed his mind about taking his own life.

‘There is an issue as to whether he jumped or fell,’ he explained.

‘I suspect it was a straightforward suicide to begin with.

‘However, sitting on top of the roof in the wet, feeling cold, looking down at the concrete below, I suspect he has changed his mind.

‘That would fit in with what the witness said. He’s leaning down and trying to reach back into the window.

‘I suspect it’s gone from an intention to commit suicide to a tragic accident.’

Coroner Fiona Wilcox said: ‘There is simply no evidence as to whether he jumped or fell.

‘I am therefore unable to be satisfied that this death arose because of an accident.

‘Similarly, there’s only witness saw a man attempting to re-enter the building and there’s also no evidence to suggest that he deliberately jumped.’

Verdict: Open

ends

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