x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

'Accountant gave officer hospital cash'

The accountant of the suspect in Suzanne Tamim's murder trial gives evidence to a Cairo court.

CAIRO // The accountant of an Egyptian tycoon accused of paying a former policeman to kill the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim sent the officer £20,000 to find a hospital in London to treat his sick wife but never got the money back, a court heard yesterday. Hossam Hassan, in charge of finance for the companies owned by Hisham Talaat Moustafa, a billionare and member of Egypt's ruling party, told the court he paid the sum into Mohsen el Sokari's account to look for a hospital while he was travelling in England. "God knows what he did with the money," Mr Hassan told the court yesterday. "I never got the money back."

Mr Hassan told the court that he got the £20,000 (Dh108,000) from the company as a loan to treat Mr el Sokari's wife who had been diagnosed with cancer in 2005. He said he knew Mr el Sokari through the defendant's job at a hotel in Sharm el Sheikh, which was owned by Mr Moustafa. Mr el Sokari, 39, was arrested in August in Cairo after Dubai Police accused him of killing Ms Tamim on July 28 in her flat in Dubai.

He denied he knew Mr Hassan and insisted the £20,000 had come directly from Mr Moustafa to follow Ms Tamim in London. Moustafa, 49, denies incitement to murder while Mr el Sokari, 39, denies murder. The judge adjourned the trial until Jan 17, ordering the defendants to remain in custody. nmagd@thenational.ae