Beliefnet
City of Brass

This is good news:

Suzanne Tamim shot to fame in an “American Idol”-style TV show, a green-eyed Lebanese beauty whose pop songs about love’s agony mirrored her troubled life.

Now, the man reported to be her secret lover _ a married, politically powerful Egyptian tycoon _ has been sentenced to hang for paying a former government security agent $2 million to slit her throat, a murder almost as clumsy as it was horrific.

Billionaire Hisham Talaat Moustafa showed no emotion Thursday as he was convicted and sentenced for ordering the killing of Tamim _ the latest chapter in the sordid tale of sex, power, money and murder that was closely followed throughout the Middle East.

Many had wondered if the 50-year-old real estate mogul tied to President Hosni Mubarak’s son, Gamal, and an influential member of the ruling party, would get away with murder in a region where the rich are often thought to be above the law.

[…] As details of the crime hit the newsstands, the judge imposed a gag order and closed most of the 27 trial sessions to the public. Fueling the intrigue were Moustafa’s ties to Gamal Mubarak, who is often touted to succeed his father as president. Moustafa, a member of parliament’s upper house, the Shura Council, was also a member the ruling party’s policies committee, which the younger Mubarak chairs.

The fact that Moustafa was sentenced despite being rich and powerful is a great sign. The actual murder-assassination plot was indeed as clumsy as it was brutal, indicating that Moustafa fully expected he would get away with this crime. It’s worth noting the role that the Arab media played in keeping justice blind to the accused’s wealth and power in this case.

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