An Egyptian real estate mogul has been convicted of paying a hitman $2 million to kill Lebanese pop star Suzanne Tamim, 30, at her apartment in Dubai.

Hesham Talaat Moustafa was a member of parliament for Egypt's ruling National Democratic Party and formerly chaired a leading Egyptian property firm. The case gripped the Arab world.

The death sentences for Moustafa and security man Muhsen el Sukkari, who carried out the murder, were referred to Ali Gomaa, Egypt's mufti and a religious authority appointed by the state, on May 21.

The mufti's approval was sought to confirm a death sentence, but it automatically goes to appeal.

The verdict in May was greeted with shock in Egypt where members of the elite are generally regarded as being above the law and where reporting of the trial was banned.

Moustafa and Sukkari were inside a cage in court for the latest hearing and read the Koran before the judge confirmed the sentence.

Sukkari was reported to have tricked the singer into opening her door in Dubai by posing as a representative of the building owners. Media reports labeled the attack an act of revenge after Tamim ended her relationship with Moustafa.

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