Egypt pardons thousands of prisoners for Eid

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi granted clemency to 3,157 inmates

Egyptian youths fly a handmade kite from an overpass on the capital Cairo's Ring Road before "iftar", or breaking the fast at sunset, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, on May 22, 2020. / AFP / Khaled DESOUKI
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Egypt’s president pardoned thousands of prisoners on Saturday including a former policeman jailed for the murder of a Lebanese singer in Dubai, its official gazette showed.

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi marked the Eid Al Fitr holiday by granting clemency to 3,157 prisoners.

Among those granted their freedom was former policeman Mohsen Al Sukkari, who was sentenced in 2010 to 25 years for killing pop star Suzanne Tamim.

The court heard that Sukkari acted on instructions from Egyptian property tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa for a payment of $2 million (Dh7.3m).

The 2008 killing of Tamim, Moustafa’s lover, sparked public outcry across the Arab region.

Moustafa, a well-known businessman, was sentenced to 15 years for his part in the crime, but he was granted a presidential pardon in 2017 on health grounds.

He was close to Gamal Mubarak, son of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown in the 2011 mass uprising.

Moustafa was also a member of Mubarak’s now-defunct National Democratic Party.