CAIRO: Egypt’s president pardoned Saturday thousands of prisoners including a former policeman jailed over killing a Lebanese pop diva more than a decade ago, according to the official gazette.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi granted clemency to a total of 3,157 people jailed on different cases on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Among those pardoned was former policeman Mohsen al-Sukkari, sentenced in 2010 to 25 years for the murder of Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim.
The court had found that Sukkari acted on instructions from Egyptian real estate tycoon Hisham Talaat Moustafa for a payment of US$2 million.
The 2008 killing of Tamim, Moustafa’s lover, sparked public outcry across the Arab region.
Moustafa, a well-known businessman, was sentenced to 15 years for his part in the crime, but he was granted a presidential pardon in 2017 on health grounds.
He was close to Gamal Mubarak, son of the ousted president Hosni Mubarak who was overthrown in the 2011 mass uprising triggered in part by police brutality and rampant corruption.
Moustafa was also member of Mubarak’s now-defunct National Democratic Party.