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Egyptian killer of Lebanese singer released from prison after 14 years

by Sep 12, 2022Arab News

An Egyptian man convicted of killing Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim in Dubai has been released from prison after serving 14 years, his defence lawyer said.

Mohsen Al Sukkari was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 after he was found guilty of Tamim’s murder. The killing was at the behest of Egyptian real estate tycoon Hisham Taalat Moustafa, whom the pop star was reportedly in a relationship with.

After receiving the death sentence, the former state security official received a presidential pardon, his lawyer said. He was meant to be released in 2020, but he was sentenced to three additional years at the time in a separate money-laundering case.

Following appeals, the three-year sentence was cut in half, a duration that ended this month.

Moustafa, a former parliamentarian and close ally of the regime of former president Hosni Mubarak, was arrested in 2008. He was sentenced to death by hanging in 2009 for ordering Al Sukkari to murder Tamim in exchange for $2 million.

Evidence reviewed by the court at the time included extensive recordings of conversations between Moustafa and Al Sukkari. There was security footage from Tamim’s apartment in Dubai and DNA was found on the bloodied clothes Mr Al Sukkari, who was accused of disposing of the evidence near the scene of the crime.

However, in 2010 following a successful appeal against the death sentence, Moustafa and Al Sukkari received a retrial. This was reportedly approved over legal technicalities which the pair’s defence team used to discredit the first ruling.

Following the retrial, Moustafa was sentenced to 15 years in prison, of which he served nine and was released in 2017 after receiving a presidential pardon.

Although the murder took place at a Dubai apartment that Tamim was staying at, the trials took place in Egypt as the country does not allow extradition of its citizens for trials elsewhere.

Despite his imprisonment, Moustafa’s real estate company, Talaat Moustafa Group, continued to be one of the largest and wealthiest in Egypt.

In 2021, the company announced its largest development to date, Egypt’s first green-smart city, Noor, close to Egypt’s New Administrative Capital.

Retired Egyptian policeman Mohsen al-Sukkari (R) addresses the court as he stands behind bars during his trial in the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim at a court in Cairo on April 28, 2010. An Egyptian appeal court has ordered the retrial of Sukkari and Egyptian tycoon Hisham Talaat Mustafa, who were convicted and sentenced to death in 2009, for respectively ordering and carrying out Tamim's murder in Dubai in July 2008. AFP PHOTO/KHALED DESOUKI *** Local Caption ***  402831-01-08.jpg

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