Slain pop star's family drops case against Egyptian mogul

BEIRUT- The family of a slain Lebanese pop diva has dropped its lawsuit against an Egyptian real estate mogul and former policeman accused of her murder, a judicial official said on Friday.
The parents and brother "signed before a Lebanese notary to halt proceedings against Hisham Talaat Mustafa and Mohsen al-Sukkari in the murder of Suzanne Tamim, who was murdered in July 2008 in Dubai," the official said.

Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim (right) during a photo shoot in Egypt, and Egyptian real estate mogul Hisham Talaat Mustafa (left)
Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim (right) during a photo shoot in Egypt, and Egyptian real estate mogul Hisham Talaat Mustafa (left)
They also signed formal notices informing both the judge of the Cairo criminal court where the pair are being tried and Lebanon's foreign ministry of their decision.
The family had filed suit in February of last year accusing Mustafa of killing Tamim and asking for justice.
The singer's family said its previous statement to the court that accused Mustafa of "inciting the murder of Suzanne Tamim is an unfounded assumption," according to the same judicial source.
"We have completely abandoned this erroneous assumption and we will take the necessary legal steps" to withdraw the lawsuit, they wrote according to the official who was speaking on condition of anonymity.
"So each of us confirms that we are waiving our civil suit in this case," it added according to the official.
Contacted by AFP, the family's lawyer Nagib Lyane declined to comment, while the Lebanese foreign and justice ministries were not immediately available to confirm the decision.
Mustafa was arrested in September last year for allegedly ordering Sukkari to kill his ex-lover Tamim.
He was accused of paying the ex-policeman two million dollars to cut the throat of his one-time lover in July 2008 in a luxury Dubai apartment which she had bought months before the murder.
In May 2009, a court sentenced the pair to death by hanging in a verdict that shocked Egypt, especially since Mustafa was an associate of President Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal and sat on the ruling party's policies committee.
At the time of the lower court ruling, Abdel Sattar Tamim, the slain singer's father, said the family was satisfied with the verdict and was awaiting the approval of Egypt's mufti, or Sunni religious leader.
An appeals court overturned the convictions this March and ordered a retrial citing procedural errors.

Saturday, May 29th 2010

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