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Tue 12 Aug 2008 05:49 PM

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Dubai calls for extradition of Tamim suspect - report

Accused still alive and did not die in Egyptian prison cell as previously reported, papers say.

Police in Dubai have formally requested for the suspect in the murder of Lebanese popstar Suzan Tamim be extradited from Egypt, Kuwaiti Arabic daily Al Jarida reported on Tuesday.

The accused, a 39-year-old Arab national believed to be Egyptian, is also still alive and was not found dead in a police cell as previously reported, other Arabic newspapers said.

Some earlier reports claimed the accused had hanged himself, while others said he had died of a heart attack.

The news sparked fears that the suspect had been “silenced” after newspapers alleged a prominent Egyptian businessman paid the killer $1 million to murder Tamim, found stabbed to death in her Dubai apartment on July 28.

Newspapers also suggested the suspect had confessed to killing Tamim and that the businessman he had been linked to knew Tamim during her stay in Cairo in 2007.

Dubai police were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Arabian Business.

Meanwhile, Hesham Talaat Mustafa, a member of the Egyptian parliament’s upper house and chairman of Egypt's largest real estate developer has appeared twice on Egyptian TV calling for the drafting of legislation criminalising rumour mongering after being linked with the case.

Mustafa’s company, Talaat Moustafa Group, said on Tuesday its board had approved a share buyback, after a plunge in the company's stock price this week.

Shares in Talaat Moustafa declined for the fourth straight session, shedding 4.1 percent to last trade at 6.58 Egyptian pounds.

Talaat Moustafa shares, down more than 30 percent this year, have tumbled about 15 percent since Thursday on media reports about its chairman, brokers said.

The company has denied unspecified rumours about the chairman but officials have declined to comment in detail.

Talaat Moustafa’s board approved a share buyback of up to 4.9 percent of its shares from the open market, saying it was a good investment opportunity for its extra cash. The move has still to be approved by the regulator.

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