Egypt Independent

Court endorses prison sentence for business tycoon over pop singer murder



The Court of Cassation, headed by Judge Ahmed Gamal Eddin, on Monday endorsed a previous ruling by the Cairo Criminal Court that sentenced business tycoon Hisham Talaat Mostafa to 15 years in prison. The ruling also sentenced his accomplice, former police officer Mohsen al-Sokkary, to life imprisonment for the premeditated murder of Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim.

The Court of Cassation ruling is final and cannot be challenged, as both defendants have been through all stages of litigation and appeal.

In May 2009, Mostafa, an associate of ousted President Mubarak's son Gamal, was sentenced to death. Mostafa sat on the policies committee of the former ruling National Democratic Party.

A year later, an appeals court overturned the conviction on procedural grounds and ordered a retrial. In September 2010, Mostafa was sentenced to 15 years in jail.

But in November of last year, the defense appealed the sentence and in January the Court of Cassation ordered a retrial.  

Also being retried is Sokkary, a Mostafa associate sentenced to 25 years for the murder of Tamim, who was killed in July 2008 in Dubai.

At the first trial, Mostafa was accused of having paid Sokkary, a former policeman, two million dollars to cut Tamim's throat.

The death sentence shocked Egypt, particularly since it targeted a prominent businessman close to Gamal Mubarak. Before the revolution began last year, Gamal Mubarak had been expected to succeed his father as Egypt’s president.

Hosni Mubarak is now himself on trial for corruption, along with his two sons, Gamal and Alaa. Mubarak is also being tried for the killings of hundreds of protesters who took part in demonstrations against his regime.