CAIRO: The Cairo Criminal Court adjourned on Tuesday the retrial of Hisham Talaat Moustafa and Mohsen Al-Sukkari to Sept. 25, due to the Lawyers’ Syndicate’s nationwide strike.
It is the second time this week that the syndicate has deterred defense lawyers from pleading their case.
“As long as I belong to the syndicate, I am committed to follow its regulations,” Lawyer Afef El-Menawy, representing Al-Sukkari, told Daily News Egypt.
“The syndicate is the entity that gives us [legitimacy and] identity as lawyers,” he added.
Violating the strike would result in a six-month suspension from the syndicate, which in turn prevents a lawyer from practicing during the suspension.
Bahaa Eddin Abu Shoaa, one of the lawyers representing Moustafa, previously told Daily News Egypt that he was against the idea of the strike.
“This means that defendants will remain in custody until the strike is over,” he argued.
Meanwhile, Farid El-Deeb, another lawyer representing Moustafa, declined to comment on the situation.
The lawyers’ strike was a reaction against a five-year imprisonment sentence handed down to lawyers Ehab Saey El-Din and Mustafa Fatouh earlier this month. They were found guilty of assaulting Basem Abu El-Rous, the local prosecutor in Tanta city.
The verdict was appealed. The next appeal session will be held on July 4.
In May 2009, Moustafa and Al-Sukkari were found guilty of the murder of singer Suzanne Tamim and were sentenced to death by hanging in the initial trial.
However, the Cairo Cassation Court overturned the death verdict, ordering a retrial in March 2010 due to legal errors in the first trial.
Al-Sukkari is accused of carrying out the murder — a brutal killing in which Tamim was stabbed several times and had her throat slit — at the behest of Moustafa, who was romantically involved with the singer.
Al-Sukkari was allegedly paid $2 million by Moustafa to commit the murder in July 2008 in Dubai.
Moustafa, the billionaire and former MP and chairman of the construction giant Talaat Moustafa Group, was arrested in September 2008 after his parliamentary immunity was lifted. He was also a member of the policies secretariat of the National Democratic Party (NDP).