CAIRO: The South Cairo Criminal Court confirmed Thursday the death penalty for construction mogul Hisham Talaat Moustafa and former police officer Moshen El-Sukkari for the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim, after Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa approved the verdict.
The court also sentenced El-Sukkari, who was found guilty of carrying out the crime on the behest of Moustafa, to 10 years in a maximum security prison for possessing unlicensed guns.
The court also ordered El-Sukkari to pay the court the $2 million that he took from Moustafa to commit the murder.
The court stated in its summary that the two are obliged to pay all legal fees as well as a sum of LE 5,000 to the plaintiffs, Tamim’s father Abdel Sattar and her brother Khalil, in financial compensation.
The defense team has a 60-day window to appeal the verdict.
On Tuesday, Farid Al-Deeb, Moustafa’s lead defense lawyer, filed a request to the court asking for a retrial in the United Arab Emirates, saying that the Egyptian judiciary had no jurisdiction to examine the case in the first place because the crime was committed in the Emirate of Dubai.
On May 21, the court sent the lawsuit file to Mufti Ali Gomaa for consultation on the verdict, a regular procedure in death sentences.
Moustafa and El-Sukkari’s case was heard in court for 29 sessions over the past eight months.
After the court’s first couple of sessions, a press ban was issued preventing the media from reporting on the details of the court sessions. The ban is in effect until the final verdict is issued and cannot be examined by any other court.