The official version presented by the Egyptian media is that Marwan was a private businessman. In Egypt, Marwan was not seen as an Israeli agent, because he apparently worked as a double agent who misled Israel by not transmitting information about Egypt's intention to wage war against Israel in 1973. Marwan is Gamal Abdel Nasser's son-in-law.
"I didn't sense any distress in his voice, but he spoke about 'that headache,'" said Dr. Aharon Bergman, an Israeli historian who had published Marwan's name in the past and who was supposed to have met him yesterday afternoon. "That headache," was the information published about Marwan in Israel, especially the arbitration decision announced two weeks ago by Justice Theodore Or, confirming that Major General (Res.) Eli Zeira had leaked Marwan's identity.
The ruling ended a legal dispute between Zeira and Zvi Zamir, who served as head of the Mossad during the war. Bergman told Haaretz that about a week ago he had sent two articles published in Haaretz to Marwan following the arbitration decision.
On Tuesday, Marwan called Bergman three times and finally they spoke and Marwan said he had received the articles and mentioned "the headache."
Bergman said that his relationship with Marwan developed after he wrote a book noting that Marwan was a double agent and gave interviews to that effect. Eventually the two met. "I didn't ask him if he was a spy or a double agent, but I did ask him why the information he gave about the start of the war was four hours late. He answered "what difference does a few hours make?"
Bergman said Marwan began writing his memoirs in 1971, two years after he started working for the Mossad. "On one occasion, when I asked him what kind of book it would be, he said that everyone in Egypt, the whole system, worked to embarrass Israel. I concluded from this that he really was a double agent."
However Bergman found about Marwan's status as a double agent for the first time from Zeira, which he also noted in testimony he gave Or.
In 2004, Zeira filed a libel suit against Zamir, after Zamir had publicly accused him of betraying Marwan's identity and published the information in a book published 14 years ago to absolve himself of the responsibility he was said to have born for the Military Intelligence's failure to give an advance warning of the war.