BEIRUT, May 29 (Reuters) – The family of a murdered Lebanese singer has dropped a civil lawsuit against an Egyptian tycoon accused of planning her killing, a source close to the family said on Saturday, but a criminal trial in Cairo will continue.
Hesham Talaat Moustafa, a member of parliament in Egypt’s ruling party, was sentenced last year to hang along with Muhsen el-Sukkari, the security man whom the tycoon is charged with paying to stab Suzanne Tamim to death in Dubai.
Moustafa, former chairman of Talaat Moustafa Group, was granted a retrial in March on grounds of legal errors and the new trial began on April 26.
Tamim’s family had been pursuing a separate civil lawsuit seeking monetary compensation, the Lebanese source said.
“They dropped the civil case because they are convinced that it wasn’t Hesham (behind the murder). Evidence has appeared that shows another person is involved,” the source said, adding the family had not received any money.
In Cairo, Moustafa’s top lawyer Farid el-Dib said: “The waiver of the civil case does not affect the criminal case and the judicial process is still running.”
The legal notices, signed by Tamim’s father, mother and brother and printed in ad-Diyar newspaper on Friday, stated that the family’s accusation against Moustafa “has no truth or basis of fact to it”.
“We have completely amended our false assumption … we each confirm that we waive our civil suit in this case.”
The media have described the murder as an act of revenge after Tamim ended an extramarital affair with Moustafa.
If found guilty in the Cairo trial, Moustafa and Sukkari will be allowed to appeal the new ruling and could face a third and final trial if that appeal is accepted. They were arrested just months after Tamim’s murder in July 2008.