Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has given presidential pardons to 502 prisoners in celebration of Eid al-Fitr. One of the convicted felons to take leave from prison is Hisham Talaat Moustafa. According to AFP, he was convicted in the murder of Suzanne Tamim back in 2010. His original sentence was to be put to Death By Hanging; however, a retrial concluded that 15 years in prison would suffice. This controversial pardon from the Egyptian president comes at the end of Ramadan, a month-long Muslim holiday of fasting.

The Crime

On July 28, 2008, Hisham Talaat Moustafa orchestrated the murder of Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim.

Reportedly, he paid a hitman, Moshen al-Sukkari, $2 billion to cut Tamim's throat inside her apartment in Dubai. Mustafa and Tamim were having a secret affair at the time of her murder. Both were married to other people. Tamim was newlywed to her second husband British kickboxing champion Riyadh al Azzawi, who was born in Iraq. Moustafa has been married since 1983 to Howaida Morsy. On May 21, 2009, Moustafa and Sukkari were both found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging. The next year, a retrial reduced their sentences. Mustafa received 15 years in prison, and Sukkari was given life in prison. According to local reports, Moustafa had escaped prison during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Apparently, these were only rumors.

At the time of his arrest, Moustafa had amassed a net worth of $800 million. Tamim has been in the public eye since 1996. She was no stranger to conflict and crime. Her first husband, Adel Matouk (who was also her producer and manager) filed several lawsuits against her. Embezzlement, fraud, slander, and libel were all charges filed against her after she fled from Beruit, Lebanon to Cairo, Egypt.

Politics in Egypt

Circumstances surrounding President Sisi are controversial to say the least. Political unrest hit the country in 2011 with the largest revolution the world had ever seen. Egyptian people flooded Tahrir Square for months, refusing to vacate until the President Hosni Mubarak stepped down from his thirty year reign.

The revolution was a success, and a democratic election was held in 2012 to elect the next president. Mohamed Morsi was narrowly elected as the nest president, but only served one year before General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi forcibly removed him from office. Orchestrating the most recent coup d'etat, Sisi imprisoned Morsi and assumed command of the country. He has been the acting President since 2013. Egyptians remain divided on political matters, including the presidential pardons Sisi announced this week.