Media coverage of Egyptian tycoon’s trial for the murder of Lebanese star blocked

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An Egyptian court has ordered a media blackout in the ongoing trial of an Egyptian business tycoon, accused of conspiracy in the brutal murder of a Lebanese pop singer in Dubai late last summer, after she ended an affair with the man. Suzanne Tamim was killed by a former Egyptian police officer, after the officer was allegedly paid US$2 million by Hisham Talaat Mustafa, a member of Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party. Mohammadi Qunsua, presiding in the Cairo court, decided to “forbid media to publish [any item] related to the trial or to report details of the hearings”, according to a court official. The media can only report court decisions such as adjournment of hearings or the verdict, she said. Tamim was found in her apartment with her throat slit, but Mustafa denies any complicity in the murder, although the alleged murderer has linked the construction tycoon to the killing. The former policeman has pleaded not guilty to the murder, despite an earlier confession and the blood found on his clothes shortly after Tamim’s body was discovered. The two men face a possible death penalty, if found guilty.

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