CAIRO: The trial of Egyptian construction mogul Hisham Talaat Moustafa and former state security officer Mohsen Al-Sukkari for the murder of singer Suzanne Tamim will resume today for the court to hear the defense statements.
On Sunday, the Cairo Criminal Court heard the prosecutor’s statement. He demanded the maximum penalty in Egyptian criminal law for the two defendants.
The prosecution based its request on the results of its investigations, which “proved that Al-Sukkari had perpetrated the brutal murder of Suzanne Tamim, who was stabbed several times and had her throat slit.
According to state-run TV’s news bulletin, the prosecution reiterated its belief that the murder was premeditated because Al-Sukkari had followed the victim to London and Dubai, where he killed her on July 28, 2008.
Moustafa, who had allegedly had an affair with Tamim in the past, was charged by the prosecution of “being an accomplice to the crime by ordering the murder of Tamim by Al-Sukkari.
The prosecution also said that its investigations showed that Moustafa has participated in the crime by paying for it and by giving all the help needed for Al-Sukkari to commit the murder, including providing him with entry visas to the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
In February the court heard the testimony of the head of the Dubai Criminal Investigations police unit Khalil Ibrahim Mohammed.
During the February proceedings, the court also examined a report on Tamim’s mobile phone line, and examined the testimony of the company which had set up the security cameras in Tamim’s apartment building in Dubai, where she was murdered.
According to the state-run TV’s news bulletin, during previous court sessions, evidence submitted in court by Egypt’s Prosecutor General reportedly included Al-Sukkari’s confession of having committed the murder on behalf of Moustafa. It also includes recordings of conversations between the two which were revealed by Al-Sukkari.
Evidence collected by Dubai police, including Al-Sukkari’s blood-stained clothes found near the murder scene, was also admitted.
The first hearing had taken place on Oct. 18, 2008, but both defendants had pleaded not guilty.
Police authorities in Dubai had pointed fingers at Al-Sukkari and had him arrested an hour and a half after landing in Cairo on the day of the murder.
They identified him using footage from the building’s security cameras and found a change of clothes caked with blood outside the building, which, they alleged, belong to him.
Moustafa was arrested on Sept. 2 after parliamentary immunity was lifted from him. Apart from being a member of the Shoura Council (Egypt’s Upper House of Parliament), Moustafa is also a member of the influential policies secretariat of the ruling National Democratic Party.
A press ban on the case instituted by presiding judge Al-Mohammadi Qunsua, however, means that details of courtroom proceedings cannot be reported; allowing only previous court decisions, adjournments and sentences to be publicized.