Retrial begins for murderers of the singer Suzanne Tamim

The retrial of the two Egyptian men convicted of killing the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai opens today at Cairo Criminal Court.

CAIRO // The retrial of the two Egyptian men convicted of killing the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai opens today at Cairo Criminal Court. Hesham Talaat Moustafa, 50, an Egyptian property tycoon and a senior member of the ruling National Democratic Party, and Mohsen el Sokari, 41, a former state security officer, were convicted of killing Tamim and sentenced to death in May.

The Cassation Court granted an appeal on March 4. Tamim, 30, was found with her throat cut at her Jumeirah Beach Residence flat in July 2008. Moustafa was convicted of paying el Sokari US$2 million (Dh7.3m) to kill Tamim, who had been romantically involved with Moustafa. Judge Adel Abdel Salam Gomaa will preside over the new three-judge panel that includes judges Mohammed Hammad and Osama Gamea. Mohammed Bahaa abu Shoqqa and his son, Mohammed, who joined Moustafa's legal team for the appeal, will work with the two original lawyers for the defence.

During the first trial, the defence's strategy was that el Sokari did not commit the crime, which would have cleared Moustafa of the capital charges of inciting and assisting in killing his former romantic partner. The court heard that Tamim's death was revenge for her not returning to Moustafa, taking his money and for being linked to a young British-Iraqi boxer in London. El Sokari's two lawyers, Atef el Mannawi and his son, Anis, will remain the same.

Lawyers of the two men who claim to have been Tamim's husbands when she was killed are also expected to attend, as well as lawyers for her family. El Sokari was arrested in Cairo on August 6 2008. Moustafa was ordered arrested n September 2 2008, after his immunity as a member of parliament's upper house was dropped. The two men have been in prison since their arrest. The trial will take place at the new court complex on the outskirts of the capital. If convicted again, the two men will have another chance of appeal, which would be conducted by the Cassation Courts judges.

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