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Hamza trial hears of 'revenge' murder motive

NEWS

EGYPTIAN GEOTECHNICAL engineer Dr Mamdouh Hamza was accused in court last month of seeking revenge against Egyptian housing minister Mohammed Suleiman.

Hamza is on trial at the Old Bailey, in London accused of soliciting the murder of Suleiman and three other Egyptian government officials.

The prosecution counsel asserted Hamza wanted revenge because Suleiman prevented his consultancy Hamza Associates from winning housing ministry contracts. Prosecutor Edward Brown QC said Hamza was 'obsessed' with Suleiman because he believed the minister 'was trying to destroy me'.

Hamza is pleading not guilty.

Questioned by defence counsel Orlando Pownall, he said Suleiman did not procure the types of work his firm was interested in because it tended to be too small scale.

The defendant is alleged to have wanted three other offi cials killed as well as Suleiman to make it look as though Islamist extremists were attacking the Egyptian government.

The court heard of four meetings Hamza is alleged to have held in London between 18 June and 12 July where he met an undercover officer posing as a hitman. All the meetings were taped and the final meeting secretly filmed, after which Hamza was arrested.

Hamza claimed he was acting on warnings that government officials were at risk. He said he was carrying out research to show how easy it would be to have them killed. This research would then have been handed over to the Egyptian government.

The case continues.

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