x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Witnesses to verify authenticity of footage in Tamim murder case

The defence team in the Suzanne Tamim murder retrial called two witnesses to verify the authenticity of the surveillance footage filmed at her apartment in Dubai.

CAIRO // The defence team in the Suzanne Tamim murder retrial called two witnesses yesterday to verify the authenticity of the surveillance footage filmed at her apartment in Dubai. Ihab Saad Ayad, an engineer, and Mina Fayek Georgy, the owner of an artistic production company, were called by the defence team to give evidence at the Cairo Criminal Court in support of the defence's argument that the footage from the security cameras could have been tampered with.

Mohsen el Sokari, 41, and the property tycoon Hesham Talaat Moustafa, 50, are being retried after their convictions and death sentences were quashed on appeal. Moustafa is accused of paying el Sokari US$2 million (Dh7.3m) for killing the Lebanese singer. The three-judge bench has watched the surveillance footage several times since the retrial started last month. It appears to show el Sokari leaving his hotel on the day of the crime, entering Tamim's Jumeirah Beach Residence building and leaving 12 minutes later wearing different clothes. Prosecutors say he dumped the bloodstained garments below her apartment. The defence teams have argued that the person seen in the footage is not el Sokari.

Osama Gamea, a judge, asked Mr Ayad if he was acquainted with the surveillance cameras where Tamim was killed, to which he answered: "I know nothing about it." Asked how long it would take to modify video footage, Mr Ayad said: "I can't modify any of the photos; this is not my speciality, so I don't know how long it would take." Today, both the experts will appear before the court with a video recorder and a computer in an attempt to show how video footage can be fabricated or tampered with.

The prosecution insisted that the technical expert from the ministry of interior be present at the court during the demonstration. A Dubai Police official, who took part in the murder investigation, is also expected to give testimony today. nmagd@thenational.ae