Two men who have been sentenced to death for the murder of Suzanne Tamim, a Lebanese pop star, have appealed against their conviction in Egypt.
Hisham Talaat Moustafa and Muhsin Sukkari are accused of killing the 30-year-old Tamim in her apartment in Dubai in July of 2008.
Moustafa, a prominent Egyptian politician, billionaire, and friend of Hosni Mubarak's son, hired Sukkari, an ex-policeman, to kill Tamim for $2 million after she ended her affair with Moustafa.
In May of 2009, both men were found guilty of her murder that shocked the Arab world, and were sentenced to hang for their crimes.
The court has postponed a ruling to the beginning of March that would decide whether or not the hangings should go ahead as planned, or whether a retrial is needed.
According to the BBC, defense lawyers have made a 27-point argument that is supposed to undermine the prosecution's case against Moustafa and Sukkari.
Lawyers on both sides are hammering out details in the case, a sideshow that is dripping with details that are scintillating, scandalous and shocking.
Moustafa holds enormous sway in Egypt, where he built the image of a billionaire business tycoon with solid ties in both politics and business. He was a member of Parliament for Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party as well as the former chair of an Egyptian property firm.
The May verdict against both men was shocking in Egypt, where it is generally considered that men such as Moustafa—powerful and well-connected—are above the law and untouchable. Reporting of the trial was even banned from Moustafa's home country.
It is not known when his affair with Tamim started, but it turned sour when she reportedly rebuffed his marriage proposal. It was at this point, that according to prosecution, Moustafa plotted to have Tamim killed.
Tamim, a Lebanese beauty that found fame on an Arabic-language talent show, was immensely popular, and her murder showed the dark underbelly of fame and glamour to a shocked Arab population worldwide.
According to court reports, Sukkari was a security guard at one of the hotels owned by Moustafa, when he traveled to Dubai and fatally stabbed Tamim in her apartment. He had tricked Tamim into opening her door after posing as a representative of the building owners where she was staying.
Sukkari later dumped bloody clothes near the crime scene, leaving DNA. Shoe prints and a security camera tape also reveal that Sukkari was there the night of the killing. The evidence was crucial to the case against both men.
Telephone calls between Moustafa and Sukkari were also essential in the case, but appeal lawyers insist that the previous trial was flawed from the beginning.
According to BBC reports, the appeal is Moustafa and Sukkari's last hope. If it fails, then they will be hanged.