Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Money Talks and Murderer Walks, Hisham Talaat Mustafa Death Sentence for Suzanne Tamim's Murder Commuted to 15 Years In Prison, SEE PHOTOS.
Egyptian expats upset over ‘courtesy verdict’, feel Hisham Talaat Mustafa punishment is a slap on the wrist.
JEDDAH: Egyptians in the Kingdom are unhappy with the commuted sentence handed to real-estate tycoon Hisham Talaat Mustafa. Mustafa was earlier sentenced to death for hiring a hit man to kill his Lebanese pop star lover. The capital punishment has been reduced to 15 years. “It looks like a courtesy verdict rather than a just one,” they told Arab News.
The Cairo Appeals Court erupted into chaos after judge Adel Abdel-Salam Gomaa read his verdict, because it was announced before the defense lawyers made their pleas, and before a final verdict in the case was expected, MONEY TALKS.
Mustafa, a former member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and a member of the Upper House of Parliament, was charged with orchestrating the brutal murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim. She was found dead with her throat slit in her Dubai apartment in July 2008.
The reduced sentence is likely to spark new accusations of political influence. Muhsin Suleiman, an Egyptian working in the printing field, said the sentence was lighter than expected and feared it might be further reduced.
Ali Hatem, another Egyptian who has been working in the Kingdom for the last 15 years, said he hoped the Cairo court would endorse the death sentence or at least give 25 years in jail considering the enormity of the crime. “This is the result of the marriage between the establishment and the wealthy,” said Abdullah El-Sinnawi, the editor of the Al-Arabi newspaper.
SEE MY PRIOR POST, April 29, 2010, Hisham Talaat Mustafa will walk on murder conviction of singer Suzanne Tamim, her photo, and put Egyptian justice in the dock. 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.
The Mustafa-Tamim affair began in 2004, when the two met at a Red Sea resort, according to transcripts of Mustafa's interrogation. Tamim, who rose to stardom in the late 1990s, had sought his help to get a divorce from her husband, according to reports. During interrogations, Mustafa said he broke up with Tamim after his mother opposed the couple’s marriage plan. Mustafa was originally sentenced to death in May 2009 after being convicted of paying a retired Egyptian police officer $2 million to kill Tamim. The court in March overturned the conviction on procedural grounds and ordered a retrial.
The sentence for the man actually convicted of killing Suzanne Tamim, Mohsen El-Sukkary, was also reduced in the retrial to just life in prison, which is 25 years under the Egyptian penal code. He was also given three years for weapons possession, MONEY TLAKS.
The sentences can still be appealed by the defendants, the prosecutor or Tamim’s family. In May, it was widely reported in the Arab media that Mustafa had agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation to Tamim’s family. MONEY TALKS.
Dubai investigators claimed El-Sukkary followed Tamim to her apartment in the swanky Dubai Marina complex and entered using an ID of the management company from which she had recently bought her place. Blood-soaked clothes were found dumped outside the building. El-Sukkary was arrested in August 2008 in Egypt. Mustafa was arrested in September of the same year.
Bill Warner Private Investigator, SEX, CRIME, CHEATERS & TERRORISM