Egypt to perform post-mortem on body of Jordanian actor

Actor was found in a coma at his Cairo residence on Sunday and died on Monday in hospital, with unexplained injuries to his body

Jordanian actor Ashraf Talfah, 47.
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Egyptian prosecutors on Monday ordered a post-mortem examination on Jordanian actor Ashraf Talfah, 47, who died in hospital after being found unconscious on Sunday in a rented residence just outside Cairo.

Egypt’s public prosecution office on Monday said it suspected that unexplained injuries on Talfah’s body might have been the result of a criminal act committed at his residence.

The Jordanian artists’ syndicate president Mohamed El Abaddi on Monday decried what he said was an assault on the actor, who was in Egypt studying for a doctorate.

Mr El Abaddi said that “envy and malice” were behind the assault on the actor.

He said he was flying into Egypt to oversee the investigation, which the prosecution office said is still under way.

Police officials on Sunday received a report from the landlord at Talfah’s residence inside a gated community in the Greater Cairo district of October 6.

The landlord said he could see through his balcony the actor lying face down and that he had not moved in some time.

Emergency services arrived soon after and found the actor still alive but apparently in a coma.

Initially, rescue officers thought he had collapsed into a diabetic coma, after they were told by his brother that Talfah had diabetes.

Police said his house was in good order and that there were no signs of a struggle or forced entry and none of his possessions were stolen.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors decided he should be taken to a detoxification centre because it appeared that he had taken an unidentified narcotic.

Later, a medical source told Al Masry Al Youm that the deceased was found with a tablet of DMT, a powerful hallucinogenic, in his hand.

He remained in the intensive care unit at the centre until Monday, when he died.

Doctors also noticed cuts and burns on various parts of the actor’s body, as well as a brain haemorrhage and blood pooling in one of his lungs, which had been punctured.

The prosecution said that led them to suspect that the actor had been assaulted before he lost consciousness.

Prosecutors interviewed his landlord, his brother and a close friend and found nothing that could be construed as a motive for an assault.

His brother and friend tried repeatedly to reach Talfah over the past few days but he had not answered.

Public prosecution said it would be continuing its investigation and that it was waiting on a forensic report to conclusively determine whether his death was the result of a crime.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said it was following up on the matter with its embassy in Egypt, and that it would keep the deceased’s family up to date with any development in the investigations.

Talfah was a renowned actor and director who was famous for his roles in historical dramas.

Updated: November 15, 2022, 12:15 AM
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