Retrial begins for Egyptian accused in diva murder

CAIRO (AP) — A retrial has begun for an Egyptian real estate mogul accused of hiring a hit man to murder a Lebanese pop star in her Dubai apartment.

In his first trial, Hisham Talaat Moustafa was convicted of paying a former policeman $2 million to kill his ex-girlfriend, 30-year-old singer Suzanne Tamim, in July 2008. The two men were sentenced to death, but an appeals court ordered a new trial, citing incorrect legal procedures and insufficient evidence.

On Monday, both men pleaded not guilty.

Mustafa has close ties to the centers of power. He is a member of parliament and a senior ruling party figure. The allegations against him shocked Egyptians unused to seeing powerful politicians taken to court.

The next hearing is Wednesday.