x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Defence lawyer says the wrong men are on trial in singer's death

The Egyptian billionaire accused of arranging the killing of Suzanne Tamim had nothing to do with her death, his lawyer claims.

CAIRO // The Egyptian billionaire accused of arranging the killing of Suzanne Tamim, the Lebanese singer, had nothing to do with her death, his lawyer said yesterday. Hisham Talaat Moustafa, 49, is accused of paying US$2 million (Dh7.35m) to Mohsen el Sokari, a former Egyptian police officer, to kill Tamim, his estranged lover. Both men are accused of murder.

Addressing the court yesterday, Farid el Deeb, Mr Moustafa's chief lawyer, claimed that Tamim had been killed by an estate agent hired by another man she had left in London to move to Dubai, 10 days before her death. The singer, 31, was found dead in her apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residences on July 28 last year. Mr el Deeb said the man who ordered her killing was a boxer, who once forged a marriage certificate with the singer and wanted to "inherit from her after getting rid of her".

"Mohsen el Sokari didn't commit murder and didn't take part in it," Mr el Deeb told the three-judge panel. "He should be found innocent of the killing accusation." Mr el Deeb said Mr Moustafa's defence was based on proving the innocence of both the accused, as Mr el Sokari had no personal knowledge or motive, except money, to kill Tamim. Both defendants have been in custody since August. Their trial started on Oct 18.

nmagd@thenational.ae