x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Recordings submitted to Tamim trial

A CD and transcript of alleged recordings between Suzanne Tamim and the Egyptian tycoon accused of contracting her death has been submitted to the court.

CAIRO // A CD and a transcript of alleged recordings between Suzanne Tamim and the Egyptian tycoon accused of contracting the murdered Lebanese singer's killing were submitted to a court yesterday. A lawyer for Tamim's family submitted the evidence to the criminal court where Hisham Talaat Moustafa, 49, a billionaire and member of Egypt's ruling party, is being tried. "The CD contains conversations between the victim and defendant number two, Hisham Talaat Moustafa, and Abdel Khaleq, who is known as Dudu, and the victim," said the lawyer, Mohammed Ali Hassan. Mr Khaleq, who is not on trial, is believed to be an associate of Mr Moustafa.

The lawyer asked for the recording to be played in court, but the presiding judge, Al Mohammadi Qonsowa, declined. The prosecution also submitted a report of Tamim's mobile phone activity. The records showed that Mr Moustafa's telephone number was saved to her phone, the court was told. The judge said the records contained all the names and phone numbers saved on the singer's mobile and SIM card.

Mr Moustafa is accused of hiring Mohsen el Sokari, a former Egyptian policeman, to kill Tamim, his estranged lover, for $2million (Dh7.35m) on July 28. The singer was found dead in her apartment in Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai last July. Tamim had been stabbed several times and her throat had been slashed. Mr Moustafa, who denies the charges, has been in custody since early September. Mr el Sokari, 39, was arrested in early August in Cairo.

Both suspects listened to the proceedings from inside separate cages in the courtroom. They have been attending all sessions since the trial opened in October. At the end of the session, Judge Qonsowa asked for a technical report from the Dubai company that installed the surveillance cameras at Tamim's apartment building. Atef el Manawi, the chief defence lawyer for Mr el Sokari, has demanded that the tapes - which the prosecution claims show his client entering and leaving Tamim's building on the night of her murder - be analysed. However, the judge turned down another demand by the same lawyer for the three-judge panel to travel to Dubai to investigate the building and the scene of the crime themselves.

Judge Qonsowa also ordered the expert who downloaded data from Tamim's mobile phone to be present at the next hearing to download pictures from the same phone. nmagd@thenational.ae