EGYPT: Google executive to be released Monday, TV stations report

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A Google Inc. executive who disappeared after participating in anti-government protests will be released Monday, according to Egyptian television reports.

Wael Ghonim, Google’s head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, has been missing since Jan. 27. PC Magazine reported that he was believed to be in the custody of the Egyptian government.


On Sunday, state-run Nile TV reported that Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq had called the network to announce his planned release.

Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris told another channel, which he owns, that he had been assured by Vice President Omar Suleiman that Goneim would be freed 4 p.m. Monday. Sawiris is part of a self-appointed group of leading Egyptians who have met with the government to explore ways to end the political impasse.

Since his disappearance, Ghonim has become a rallying figure for anti-government protesters. The April 6 youth opposition movement named him its symbolic spokesman.

Despite warnings from friends and family, Ghonim tweeted that he was attending a Jan. 25 demonstration, organized in part by members of the April 6 movement.

‘Pray for #Egypt. Very worried as it seems that government is planning a war crime tomorrow against people. We are all ready to die #Jan25,’ Ghonim wrote in one of his last tweets.

It was not clear Sunday where he was being held.

— Alexandra Zavis



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