x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Defence rests at Tamim murder trial

Lawyers for the two men charged in connection with the killing of the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim try again to cast doubt on the evidence.

CAIRO // Lawyers for the two men charged in connection with the killing of the Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim again tried to cast doubt on the prosecution's evidence in their closing arguments today. Hisham Talaat Moustafa, 49, an Egyptian businessman and senior member of the country's ruling party, is accused of paying US$2 million (Dh7.35m) to Mohsen el Sokari, 39, a former Egyptian police officer, to kill Tamim, his estranged lover.

The singer, 31, was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residences on July 28. Both men are standing trial for murder before the Cairo Criminal Court. In their eighth and final session before the court, their lawyers again called into question the investigations carried out by the Dubai Police and Egyptian authorities and the evidence that was presented. Hafez Farhoud, a lawyer representing Mr Moustafa, notably told the court that he refused to recognise the legality and contents of five mobile phone conversations between the two defendants that were recorded by Mr el Sokari without Mr Moustafa's knowledge.

In the transcripts, read in court by the prosecution during an earlier session, Mr Moustafa allegedly urged Mr el Sokari to "get rid" of someone, but without mentioning anyone by name. Mr el Sokari was arrested in Cairo on Aug 6 at the request of the Dubai Police. The judge adjourned the trial until tomorrow, when the court will hear the prosecution's closing arguments. nmagd@thenational.ae