More than a week after his mysterious disappearance in Egypt, Google executive and political activist Wael Ghonim will be released from government detention on Monday, according to his family and a prominent businessman.
During his disappearance, Mr. Ghonim, a father of two who is in his 30s, emerged as a central symbol of the antigovernment protests, cast as the face of a movement and hero in the cause of democracy. Protest organizers in Cairo's central Tahrir Square adopted him as a symbolic leader. Suspecting his arrest—but having no proof—they declared in speeches that they wouldn't leave the square until he was freed. Marchers carried homemade signs emblazoned with his name. At the same time, some local media suggested the political activities of Mr. Ghonim, who is Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, make him a traitor to his nation.
On Sunday, Egyptian authorities broke the silence on Mr. Ghonim's fate, according to his brother, Hazem Ghonim. "They told us they'll probably bring him to us, and that he will likely be escorted by security," he said from Cairo.
Billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris also said on Sunday that Egypt's vice president told him Mr. Ghonim would be released. "The boy is a hero," Mr. Sawiris said. "When he is released he will become the living hero of this revolution."