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Engineer denies seeking work from alleged murder target

GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER Dr Mamdouh Hamza told the Old Bailey this week that he did not seek work from the Egyptian Minister he is accused of attempting to hire an assassin to kill.

Prosecutors allege that Hamza wanted revenge against housing minister Mohammed Suleiman because he stopped Hamza's consultancy Hamza Associates from winning housing ministry contracts (News, last week).

He is pleading not guilty to charges of soliciting to murder three government ministers. He is alleged to have sought the murders after meeting an undercover policeman posing as a hit man.

Hamza, famous for designing Egypt's Alexandria Library, told the court that the housing minister did not procure the types of work his company wanted.

He said housing ministry work was small scale and that his firm worked on larger projects.

'That type of work did not interest me; I did not run for it.

Hundreds of people compete for that work, ' he said.

Orlando Pownall QC began the defence case this week and Hamza took to the stand as the first witness.

Pownall told the jury that it was never intended by Hamza to cause any of the people named any harm.

'You are invited to predict what would have happened if third or fourth meetings (with the hit man) had taken place and if any money had been paid.

'Would he have embarked upon a course that would have led to one or more of those individuals being killed-' he asked the jury.

The case continues.

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