Billionaire sentenced to death for murdering pop star

Sentencing called 'severe' by defence lawyer

Egyptian billionaire and former political figure Hisham Talaat Moustafa has been sentenced to death for the 2008 murder of Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim.

Yesterday (May 21) a Cairo court found Moustafa guilty of paying ex-policeman Muhsin Sukkari $2 million (£1.2 million) to murder Tamim in 2008.

As the verdict was read out, several people in the courtroom burst into tears and one fainted, reports BBC News.

Tamim was stabbed to death in Dubai last July shortly after she ended her relationship with Moustafa.

The court heard that Sukkari gained entry to Tamim‘s flat by saying he was working for the building’s owner. He killed her as she opened her front door.

Moustafa‘s lawyer Samir Shishtawi called the verdict “severe”, and said he would appeal. “I want to assure Talaat Moustafa‘s family that this verdict will be overturned by the appeals court,” he said.

Suzanne Tamim originally gained fame in the Middle East after winning a ‘Pop Idol’-style contest in Lebanon in 1996.

Moustafa was a member of the upper house of the Egyptian parliament, and is known to have been close to President Hosni Mubarak‘s son Gamal.