The Court of Cassation in Cairo on Monday annulled the sentences against notorious businessman Hisham Talaat Mostafa and former state security officer Mohsen El-Sokary for the 2008 murder of Suzanne Tamim.
The court ordered the retrial of both Mostafa and El-Sokary, due to commence on 6 February.
Bahaa Abu Shouka, Mostafa’s lawyer, revealed to the media after the session that Tamim's family had withdrawn the lawsuit against Mostafa, in Dubai, and gave up their rights for diyya, the compensation paid to the relatives of a victim in accordance with Islamic law.
Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim was killed in her apartment in Dubai in July 2008. The Emirati authorities accused both Mostafa and El-Sokary of being behind the murder. According to telephone records presented by the prosecution, Mostafa paid El-Sokary $2 million to stalk Tamim in London and Dubai and kill her. Investigations also showed that El-Sokary was in Dubai at the time of murder.
Mostafa was found guilty of incitement to murder and El-Sokary of the murder of Tamim in 2009, and both were handed the death sentence. The case captured the attention of the media across the Arab world and prompted a public discussion about the relationship between businessmen and politics in Mubarak's Egypt.
In March 2010 the Court of Cassation accepted an appeal for a new trial after El-Sokary’s defence team argued that he had not been properly represented at the original trial. In September 2010 the court amended Mostafa's sentence to 15 years imprisonment and El-Sokary to 25 years.
Hisham Talaat Mostafa, a former chairman of one of Egypt’s biggest real estate development companies was also a former leading figure in ousted president Mubarak’s National Democratic Party, as well a member of its Policies Committee. He was a member of the Shura Council – Egypt's upper parliamentary house – until 2009 and was seen as close to Gamal Mubarak, the ousted president's son.