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Egyptian orders media blackout of high-profile murder trial of Lebanese singer Tamim

Egyptian orders media blackout of murder trial of Lebanese singer Tamim
High-profile: Sahar Talaat Mustafa, sister of Egyptian construction magnate Hesham Talaat Moustafa, attends her brother's trail in Cairo on November 15 for murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim (inset). Moustafa, a member of parliament for the ruling National Democratic Party, is charged with paying security man Muhsen el-Sukkari $2 million for stabbing Tamim to death at her house in Dubai (UAE) on July 28 this year.Photo: Reuters / Nasser Nuri

A judge has banned media coverage of the trial of Egyptian tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa who is accused of ordering the killing of Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim who jilted him, according to news reports.

Egyptian media said Tamim, a close friend of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's son, Gamal, and part of a powerful group long seen as above the law in Egypt's hierarchical class-based society, had a relationship with Mustafa over a three-year period that ended several months before her death. The singer was found dead in the apartment on July 28 with her throat slit and several stab wounds in her body.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP): [Link]

Judge Mohammadi Qunsua, presiding in the Cairo court, decided to "forbid media to publish (any item) related to the trial or to report details of the hearings," according to a court official who asked not to be named. Media can only report court decisions such as adjournment of hearings or the verdict, she said.

Hisham Talaat Mustafa, a stalwart of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party, allegedly paid retired policeman Mohsen al-Sukkari two million dollars to kill Suzanne Tamim, 30, whose throat was cut in a luxury Dubai apartment in July.

Mustafa denies conspiracy to murder and the former policemen has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge. The case, with its mix of wealth, show business, sex and politics and in which the two men could face the death penalty, has gripped Egypt where powerful businessmen are rarely seen to face justice.

The Associated Press (AP) had some other info: [Link]

The prosecution alleges Moustafa paid a former Egyptian policeman, Mohsen el-Sukkary, $2 million to carry out the killing and helped him obtain visas and tickets as the ex-policeman trailed the singer to London and later to Dubai.

Egyptian authorities arrested the former policeman in August and charged him with murder. Dubai authorities said el-Sukkary was seen on a closed-circuit camera on the night of the murder entering the singer's building in the emirate. Tamim's friends say she moved there to break off her relationship with the married businessman. A month later, Moustafa was stripped of his immunity as a lawmaker, arrested and charged with organizing the killing.

Date posted: November 17, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 6830