Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Live: Algerian jet with 116 on board 'crashes' in northern Mali

    Read more

  • ‘Many’ French passengers on board missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

Tycoon enters not guilty plea in pop star's murder

Latest update : 2008-10-19

Egyptian construction magnate Hesham Talaat Moustafa and a former police officer have pleaded not guilty to charges of murdering the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim. Their trial started in Cairo on Saturday.

Egyptian tycoon Hisham Talaat Mustafa and an ex-policeman who was his alleged accomplice pleaded not guilty on Saturday to involvement in the brutal slaying of the Lebanese pop singer who jilted him.
  
Mustafa, a stalwart of Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party, is charged with paying retired policeman Mohsen al-Sukkari two million dollars to kill Suzanne Tamim, 30, whose throat was cut in a luxury Dubai apartment in July.
  
"God is sufficient for me, and the best trustee of affairs," Mustafa told the packed Cairo courtroom, wearing white and sitting next to Sukkari inside a cage, as is usual in Egyptian courts. "I'm innocent."
  
Sukkari, who was detained in Dubai shortly after the killing, said, "I didn't do it."
  
In September, however, prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmud said Sukkari confessed to Mustafa's involvement in the case.
  
The downtown Cairo court was surrounded by a heavy security presence for the hearing.
  
The case, with its mix of wealth, show business 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.
  
Mustafa allegedly paid Sukkari to go to Dubai and stake out Tamim's flat. Sukkari is then said to have bought a knife, gone to her flat saying he worked for the building owner and killed her when she opened the door.
  
Mustafa, 49, was arrested in September and had his immunity lifted as member of the Shura Council, Egypt's upper house of parliament. Media reports have said he offered Tamim 50 million dollars to marry him.
  
He ran the Talaat Mustafa Group real estate conglomerate that is worth several billion dollars, and is said to be close to President Hosni Mubarak's son and heir apparent, Gamal.
  
Talaat Mustafa Group appointed Tarek Talaat Mustafa, Hisham's brother, chairman of the board and chief executive officer following his arrest.
  
Egyptian authorities ordered a freeze on reporting the case in August, after media said an unidentified "important Egyptian figure" was involved in the murder, but this was later rescinded.
  
Tamim's life had been marred by domestic disputes, including a rocky marriage with her second husband and agent who had accused her in 2004 of being behind an attempt on his life.
  
Egyptian media said Tamim had a relationship with Mustafa over a three-year period that ended several months before her death.
  
She had reportedly previously married two men, both in the music business, before tying the knot with Iraqi kick boxing champion Riyad al-Azzawi whom she met at London's renowned Harrods department store.
  
The couple reportedly bought the luxury Dubai apartment together shortly before Tamim was murdered.
  
Azzawi told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that he had told British police that his wife was receiving threats and that the singer was "afraid for her life saying that she would die by the hands of a 'professional killer'."
  
The next trial hearing is set for November 15.

Date created : 2008-10-18

COMMENT(S)