5 Mar 2010

Murder conviction for billionaire overturned

11:20 am on 5 March 2010

The highest court in Egypt has overturned the conviction of one of the country's richest men who was under sentence of death for the murder of a popular Lebanese singer.

Hisham Talaat Moustafa, 50, was found guilty last year of paying Muhsin Sukkari $US2 million to kill Suzanne Tamim in Dubai in July 2008.

The court overturned their murder convictions on procedural grounds.

The BBC reports the case has received much attention, as it involves a member of an elite which is often seen as being above the law.

Mr Moustafa, was a hugely powerful business tycoon, a high-profile member of the ruling party and a friend of the son of President Hosni Mubarak.

Ms Tamim found fame as the winner of an Arabic television talent show.

At the trial last May, prosecutors said Mr Moustafa plotted to kill Ms Tamim after she spurned his offer of marriage.