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Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim killers appeal in Egypt

Hisham Talaat Moustafa - 18/10/2008
Hisham Talaat Moustafa is a well-known property tycoon in Egypt

Two men sentenced to death for killing a Lebanese singer have appealed against their convictions in an Egyptian court.

Billionaire Hisham Talaat Moustafa and ex-policeman Muhsin Sukkari were found guilty in May last year of the murder of 30-year-old Suzanne Tamim.

Moustafa had paid Sukkari $2m (£1.3m) to kill Ms Tamim at her luxury apartment in Dubai in July 2008.

The court postponed to 4 March a ruling on whether the executions should go ahead or if a retrial should be held.

Lawyers for the pair are reported to have made 27 points in their appeal, which they say undermine the prosecution's case.

Spurned

The case - a story of sex, power, show business, money and murder - gripped the Middle East.

Suzanne Tamim
Suzanne Tamim rose to fame after appearing on a Lebanese talent show

Moustafa, 41, was a hugely powerful business tycoon, politician and friend of the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

He had an affair with Ms Tamim, who had found fame as the winner of an Arabic television talent show.

But when she spurned his offer of marriage, the court heard how Moustafa plotted to kill her.

Sukkari, a security guard at a hotel owned by Moustafa, travelled to Dubai where he stabbed Ms Tamim to death at her flat.

Clothes found at the apartment carried Sukkari's DNA. The former Egyptian police officer had also left a shoe print at the scene and was caught leaving the apartment block by a security camera.

Telephone conversations between Sukkari and Moustafa formed a crucial part of the prosecution's case.

But the appeal lawyers claim the Dubai police investigation was flawed.

The BBC's Christian Fraser in Cairo says if this appeal fails, there is no way out for Moustafa and Sukkari and they will be hanged.



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