The hitman who brutally assassinated Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim in 2008 has been now pardoned by the president of Egypt, General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, igniting outrage in Egypt as in the region.
The former police officer Mohsen Al-Sukkari was released from jail for Eid on May 23rd along with over 3,000 prisoners. According to Egyptian media outlets, there was no release of political prisoners.
Back in 2008, Al-Sukkari was hired by the Egyptian business tycoon, who was also a lawmaker in the Shura Council, Hisham Talaat Mostafa to murder Suzanne Tamim after she refused to marry him.
Tamim was reportedly married at the time with Iraqi-born British Kickboxing champion Riyadh Al-Azzawi.
On July 28, 2008, the Lebanese pop singer, aged 31, was found murdered in her Dubai apartment with several stab wounds and a slit throat- the horrific doing of Al-Sukkari.
Mostafa, who reportedly paid Sukkari $2 million to carry out the hit, was arrested in Cairo. Both Al-Sukkari and Mostafa were charged for the murder in May 2009 and sentenced to death by hanging.
However, the convictions were thrown out in March 2010 by the Supreme Constitutional Court that ordered a retrial on an alleged legal technicality.
The retrial resulted in reduced sentences: Mostafa was sentenced to 15 years and Al-Sukkari to life in prison, according to reports from BBC and Los Angeles Times.
Al-Sukkari is now roaming free, while the tragic life and death of Suzanne Tamim still haunt Lebanon and the Arab world.
As for the fate of the convicted business tycoon, there were reports that he had escaped from prison during the 2011 Egyptian protests.
It is to note that the murder of Tamim back then took the Egyptian news by storm until it was linked to Mostafa. The office of the Attorney General prompted to forbid local media outlets to report about the case.
Those who disregarded the order were arrested and charged, and an edition of a newspaper was confiscated, as reported by a European news outlet and Arabian News during the trial.
Suzanne Tamim’s murder sparked outrage in both Lebanon and Egypt, but also the world’s attention and interest.
According to The Guardian, the award-winning Swedish film The Nile Hilton Incident by Tarik Saleh was inspired by Tamim’s real-life story and murder.