CAIRO: Dropping a civil lawsuit against business tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa accusing him of inciting the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim is irrelevant to the ongoing murder trial, defense lawyer said.
“The civil lawsuit waiver is useless and will not alter the course of the main criminal case,” defense lawyer Atef El-Menawy told Daily News Egypt. El-Menawy is representing ex-policeman Hossam El-Sukkari, who is accused of carrying out the murder on the behest of Moustafa.
Media reports said Friday that Abdel-Sattar Tamim, the father, had dropped the civil lawsuit against business tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa, accusing of inciting her murder.
Press reports said that Moustafa paid Tamim a huge financial compensation in return. Tamim did not confirm or decline that he received any money from Moustafa.
One of Moustafa’s defense lawyers, Bahaa Eddin Abu Shoaa, told Daily News Egypt Sunday that Tamim “had already dropped charges against Moustafa with nothing in return.”
Abu Shoaa added that he had withdrawn his earlier accusations against Moustafa of inciting the murder.
“Tamim said that his earlier statements following (the incident) were influenced by the media,” Abu Shoaa explained.
But contradiction marred the reports about Tamim’s alleged decision to drop the lawsuit. Independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm quoted Tamim saying he dropped charges only against Moustafa, accusing ex-policeman Hossam El-Sukkari of killing his daughter.
However, independent daily Al-Shorouk newspaper reported Saturday that Tamim denied he dropped the civil lawsuit against Moustafa, declaring he will sue the Lebanese newspapers that published this news.
Contacted by Daily News Egypt, Farid El Deeb, representing Moustafa, declined to comment. “I will not talk to journalists anymore … they gave me (a hard time),” he furiously said as he hanged up the phone.
Next hearing will be held on June 26.
In May 2009, both defendants had been found guilty and handed the death sentence in the initial trial.
The Cairo Cassation Court overturned the death verdict and ordered a retrial in March 2010 due to legal errors in the first trial.
El-Sukkari is accused of carrying out the murder — a brutal killing in which Tamim was stabbed several times and had her throat slit — at the behest of Moustafa, who was romantically involved with the singer.
El-Sukkari was allegedly paid by $2 million Moustafa to commit the murder in July 2008 in Dubai.
Police authorities in Dubai identified El-Sukkari who was arrested an hour and a half after landing in Cairo on the same day of the crime. He was identified thorough taken footage by the building’s security cameras and a change of clothes caked with blood was discovered outside the building.
Moustafa, the billionaire former MP and chairman of the construction giant Talaat Moustafa Group, was arrested in September 2008 after parliamentary immunity was lifted from him.
Talaat was also a member of the policies secretariat of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
After his arrest, the chairmanship of the group was transferred to his brother Tarek.