Defence opens case in Tamim murder trial

CAIRO // Defence lawyers in the trial of two men accused of killing the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in Dubai opened their case yesterday, trying to cast doubt on the evidence collected by investigators. The singer, 31, was found dead in her apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai. She had been stabbed several times and her throat had been slashed. Mohsen el Sokari, 39, a former Egyptian police officer, was arrested in August in Cairo on a charge of killing Tamim. Hisham Talaat Moustafa, 49, a billionaire and a leading member of Egypt's ruling party, is accused of hiring Mr el Sokari to kill Tamim, his estranged lover, for US$2 million (Dh7.35m). Anis el Manawi, el Sokari's lawyer, said yesterday the evidence given to authorities in Egypt was unreliable. Mr el Manawi disputed the results of the post-mortem examination and the report of a DNA expert, Farida al Shemali, who had testified in court Tamim's blood was on Mr el Sokari's T-shirt, found near the victim's apartment. He said police had not thoroughly searched her apartment and did not question her neighbours. Three other lawyers for the two defendants appealed to the judge to give them more time to prepare their defence. The judge's decision was not available at the time of publication.

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