Chaos in a Cairo court has attracted media attention when a retrial was called for Egyptian real estate mogul Hisham Talaat Mustafa accused of hiring a hit man to murder his girlfriend, Lebanese pop star, Suzanne Tamim, in her Dubai hotel room. However, in his first trial, Mustafa was convicted of paying a former policeman US$2 million to kill his ex-girlfriend in July 2008. The two men were sentenced to death, but an appeals court ordered a new trial, citing incorrect legal procedures and insufficient evidence.
Well, that’s Egypt for many who use their power to pull strings.
The billionaire developer and former member of the Egyptian Parliament was sentenced to death last year in May for ordering the murder of his ex-girlfriend/mistress. The verdict against Mustafa, once a member of the ruling National Democratic Party, spurred a stunning drama that has offered a peek into the closely-guarded realm of Egypt’s politicians and businessmen. It shows that even big-time businessmen are no longer above the law.
The Egyptian billionaire, luxury hotel and real estate builder, senator, and business kingpin was arrested September 2, 2008 in Cairo, after he was accused of paying his security to kill his 33-year old Lebanese mistress with whom he had a three-year relationship. Tamim was found dead July 2008 in her apartment at the Dubai Marina. She was a beautiful pop singer who rose to fame in the Arab world after having won the top prize in the popular talent show on television Studio El Fan in 1996 – the Lebanese version of American Idol.
Hitman Mohsen Al Sukkari, a 39-year-old former policeman from Egypt, was hired for a sum of US$2 million from his boss, Mustafa. Al Sukkari slashed her throat after pretending to be the homeowner’s representative, while entering her apartment. He, too, has been sentenced to death. For Mustafa, the US$2 million was no issue at all.
Mustafa is one of the richest in Egypt, being the former chairman of Talaat Mustafa Group, the biggest developer of fine real estate properties in modern-day Egypt. Mustafa owns all three Four Season Hotels in Cairo, Alexandria, Sharm El Sheikh, and more.
As the CEO and managing director, Mustafa chaired the Alexandria Real Estate Investment (AREI) Company, spearheading ultra-progressive developments including Al Rehab, San Stefano, the Nile Plaza, Al Rabwa, and the Mayfair that changed the face of Egypt. Together with Saudi Arabian Prince HRH Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, chairman of Kingdom Holding and one of the world’s wealthiest, Mustafa built the most stunning Four Seasons Hotel projects in Egypt, two of whom are in Cairo’s premium areas, and boast high-end shopping malls, residential apartments, unrivaled restaurants, and bars.