CAIRO: Hisham Talaat Moustafa, Egyptian billionaire and real estate tycoon, charged with hiring a hitman to murder Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim, is making headlines in the local press.
Some papers dedicated several pages to covering details of the murder and the consequences of the charges leveled against Moustafa.
State-run Rose El-Youssef described it as the “bombshell of the season. The paper, discussing new evidence revealed in the investigations, also featured an editorial titled “The lessons we can learn from Hisham Talaat Moustafa’s case.
In the editorial, Karam Gabr said that the charges restored people s faith in the Egyptian justice system after the unfair rulings in cases involving businessmen Mamdouh Ismail (sunken ferry) and Hany Sorour (contaminated blood bags).
Independent daily Al-Dostour questioned whether the regime is removing immunity from “its own people, in reference to Moustafa’s membership in the National Democratic Party. The paper s editor Ibrahim Eissa wondered in his editorial whether Moustafa would eventually be acquitted.
Eissa also explained the events leading up to Moustafa s arrest. These include an external factor in reference to the fact that the murder took place outside Egypt’s jurisdiction; competitive factors with detailed description of Moustafa’s strained relations with partner Prince Waleed Bin Talal and steel tycoon Ahmed Ezz; and a psychological factor that aims at discouraging other businessmen from resorting to violence to clear disagreements.
Opposition daily Al-Wafd dedicated two pages to the story. It shed light on Mohsen El Sokary, accused of executing the murder following Moustafa’s orders in exchange for $2 million.
Giving El Sokary the nickname “Egyptain Rambo, the paper narrated his eventful life, where he went from being a police officer to owner of a security company. The paper said the move made El Sokary a fortune. In another article, Al-Wafd expressed skepticism over the surge in Talaat Moustafa Group s shares after weeks of continuous decline. The paper said that after Moustafa s older brother Tarek took over, the stocks were widely traded, with Bin Laden’s companies and Kuwaiti El Kabda as main investors.
Meanwhile, state run papers Al-Ahram, Al-Akhbar and Al-Gomhuria did not dedicate as many pages to the story. Their coverage focused on the efforts made by Egyptian police and the general prosecutor, in addition to the new evidence in the case.
Al-Gomhuria s Mohamed Ali Ibrahim wrote an article about the damaging relationship between fortune, beauty and power, discussing similar cases. Al-Masry Al-Youm said El Sokary had recorded phone calls with Moustafa incriminating the latter. One of them feature Moustafa allegedly asking El Sokary to kill Tamim “in the Soad Hosni way, which indicates throwing her off the balcony to appear suicidal.
In his daily column in Al-Masry Al-Youm, Soliman Gouda said the charges against Moustafa are poised to hurt the economy, the businessmen community in general, and the National Democratic Party of which Moustafa is a prominent member.