Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hisham Talaat Mustafa will walk on murder conviction of singer Suzanne Tamim, her photo, and put Egyptian justice in the dock.

Businessman Hisham Taalat Moustafa faces his second trial for ordering the murder of singer Suzanne Tamim, Egyptian justice will be on trial as well.  The Court of Cassation, Egypt's highest appeals court, granted Moustafa and el Sukkary a new trial on March 4, on the grounds that there'd been procedural errors during the investigation and trial. "This system is corrupt to the bone," said dentist Sarah Taha, 25, interviewed at a seaside vacation villa. She thought Moustafa's connections would save him from the hangman's noose.

Moustafa is a member of parliament's upper chamber, the Shura council, and a prominent member of the ruling National Democratic Party, headed by Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's president. He's also a close ally of Mubarak's son Gamal, who chairs the NDP's powerful policies secretariat.

"He's going to walk, no doubt about it," said Hany el Saied, 31, an accountant, interviewed at a Cairo supermarket. He said he'd been surprised by the death sentence Moustafa received. "After the death sentence I thought things had changed, and people were going to be held accountable for their actions. Now I think everything in Egypt is solved through money and connections," el Saied added.

The retrial of the 51-year-old politician and property tycoon is expected to begin in Cairo this week. The eventual verdict on him and the hitman he allegedly hired to slit the throat of his former lover, Suzanne Tamim, will be widely seen as a judgement on Egypt's notoriously uncertain legal system.

Moustafa has already been sentenced once to hang for ordering the murder of Miss Tamim, after a trial which ended a year ago. Few Egyptians could believe it when the judge, Muhammadi Qunsuwa, read out the verdict and terse death sentence to a packed Cairo courtroom. Moustafa, a senator and associate of the Egyptian president's son, Gamal Mubarak, slumped in his cage as the court erupted in confused mayhem.

He was found guilty of paying Mohsen Sukkari, a former state security policeman, £1.3 million to kill his former lover Suzanne Tamim, who was found dead in a Dubai apartment after she spurned the tycoon.  But last month an appeal court quashed the original convictions against him and the alleged hit man, Mohsen al-Sukkari, and Moustafa, who headed a property group until his arrest in September 2008, has written that he is confident of exoneration at the retrial, which begins on Monday.

Such a verdict, a former judge has warned, could completely erode what little faith remains in the country's judicial system. The original trial captivated the Arab world with its mix of sex and power, and the verdict came as shock in Egypt where men of Moustafa's stature are seen as above the law. He sat on the ruling party's policies committee chaired by Mr Mubarak, a driving force of economic reforms that - despite being praised by foreign investors - were seen as favouring the wealthy while further impoverishing already poor Egyptians.

The evidence against Moustafa presented in court appeared overwhelming. Closed circuit television camera tapes showed Sukkari entering and leaving the apartment where the pop singer was killed, and police presented recordings by Sukkari of phone conversations in which Moustafa urged him to kill Miss Tamim in London, where she lived at the time, more from this source...............

Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM