- Egyptian human rights organisation has denounced decision of president of criminal court in South Cairo to throw media out of courtroom last Sunday, blocking reporting proceedings of trial of top tycoon accused of killing a Lebanese singer Susan Tamim.
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said decision of president of the court is a breach of right to truth, and would allow rumours to spread more freely.
The weekends ruling upheld August decision to ban media and publication of any information from trial of individuals accused of murdering Lebanese artist in Dubai last July.
ANHRI's Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression lawyer, Rawda Ahmed, said decision and news blackout imposed on the case are purely for political and personal reasons, since court did not put forward any other reasons for reaching its conclusion.
ANHRI said latest media gag calls for demand that Egyptian government respect freedom of press and freedom of opinion and expression. The organisation also calls on government to maintain transparency and fulfill its constitutional, legal and international commitments that provide for protection of these freedoms.
The case which involves a prominent Egyptian businessman Hisham Talaat Moustafa who allegedly hired a retired cop to murder ex girlfriend, and is said to be related to the first family.
The prosecution alleges Mr Moustafa paid a former Egyptian policeman, Mohsen el-Sukkary, US $2 million to carry out killing. However, Mr Moustafa and Mr el-Sukkary have denied the accusations.
Mr Moustafa is a close friend of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's son, Gamal, and part of a powerful group long seen as above the law in Egypt's strict, class-based society.
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