[QODLink]
Middle East
Egypt orders retrial in diva murder
Appeals court orders retrial for businessman convicted of Lebanese singers' murder.
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2010 11:51 GMT
Lebanese singer, Suzanne Tamim, was found dead in a luxury Dubai apartment in July 2008 [AFP]

An Egyptian appeals court has overturned the convictions of a ruling party member and a former policeman sentenced to death for the murder of a Lebanese pop star.

The court on Thursday ordered a retrial for Hisham Talaat Mustafa and Mohsen al-Sukkari, the ex-policeman, convicted in May for killing Suzanne Tamim.

Mustafa, a real estate mogul, was accused of paying Sukkari two million dollars to cut the throat of his one-time lover in July 2008, in a luxury Dubai apartment which she had bought months before the murder.

Mustafa, 49, was arrested in September and had his immunity lifted as member of the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament.

The case, with its mix of wealth, show business and politics has gripped Egypt, where powerful businessmen are rarely seen to face justice.

The decision to retry the case is certain to raise charges that Mustafa's influence will keep him from receiving justice.

Mustafa ran the Talaat Mustafa Group real estate conglomerate that is worth several billion dollars, and is said to have been close to president Hosni Mubarak's son and heir apparent, Gamal.

Investigation

According to Dubai investigators, el-Sukkary stalked Tamim to her apartment in the Dubai Marina complex and entered using an ID of the management company from which she had recently bought her place.

Sukkari was arrested in August 2008 in Egypt after Dubai police found a footprint at the crime scene and traced the shoes that made it to a shop where he had used his credit card.

Tamim and Mustafa met in the summer of 2004 at a Red Sea resort, according to transcripts of Moustafa's interrogation that were widely published in Egyptian newspapers.

They reported that Tamim had a three-year relationship with Mustafa that ended several months before her death.

Tamim rose to stardom in the late 1990s, but hit troubled times leading to a separation from her Lebanese husband-manager, who filed a series of lawsuits against her, accusing her of threatening his life.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.