UPDATE: Egypt's former spy chief, Mubarak vice-president, Omar Suleiman dies

Ahram Online, Thursday 19 Jul 2012

Mubarak's spy chief passes away while undergoing medical examinations in US hospital

Former chief of intelligence Omar Suleiman (Photo: AP)

Egypt's former spy chief Omar Suleiman died early on Thursday aged 76 whilst undergoing medical tests in the US, Reuters reported.

As spy chief Suleiman was not in the public eye but he hit the headlines after being appointed vice-president by ousted president Hosni Mubarak during last year's uprising.

Under pressure of the ongoing millions-strong protests in Tahrir and around the country, a compromise deal was floated, according to which Suleiman would assume the president's powers for the duration of Mubarak's term, along with a pledge by the then president that he would not run again for the post.

Suleiman's tenure as vice-president lasted for just few days as Mubarak was deposed shortly after his appointment.

It was Suleiman who, in a short TV address on 11 February 2011, announced that Mubarak had stepped down, giving over his powers to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

For a while afterwards, Suleiman all but vanished from the political scene, before he returned after announcing his intention to run for president.

His presidential bid was, however, turned down by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Committee (SPEC) because he failed to acquire the number of recommendations stipulated by the election law.

After Mohamed Morsi, a senior figure in the Brotherhood, became Egypt's president, Suleiman warned that Egypt would become a theocratic state.

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