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CAIRO – 13 March 2022: A Cairo Criminal Court, held in Abbasiya district, would issue its verdict in the trial of businessman and former parliamentarian Hassan Rateb and 21 other defendants, in the case dubbed in the media as “The Great Antiquities Case” onApril 21, 2022.
The first hearing has been postponed to February 12, son a request from Rateb’s lawyer Fareed El-Deeb, the lawyer of late President Hosni Mubarak who was topped by million-man protests in January 15 Revolution 2011, to hear the witnesses.
Rateb was arrested in late June 2021 over charges of providing millions of Egyptian pounds to former MP Alaa Hassanin and his brother to help them in illegal digging for antiquities.
The Egyptian Prosecution Public Prosecution early in July said the 227 artifacts, seized with an excavation gang believed to be led by former MP Hassanin, were confirmed to be antiquities.
A committee from the Supreme Council of Antiquities said all the seized antiquities date back to the Egyptian civilizations and belong to different ages, including the Prehistoric, Pharaonic, Greek, Roman and Islamic ages, according to the prosecution’s statement.
The antiquities also fall under the antiquity protection law, the committee affirmed.
The prosecution ordered the detention of Hassanin, former owner of Al-Mihwar T.T. channel Rateb and 17 others pending the investigation.
Hassanin denied leading the excavation gang with the aim of smuggling the antiquities outside the country or carrying out digging operations to excavate and sell antiquities.
The prosecution also called upon everyone to take information on the issue from the prosecution’s statements and refrain from other inaccurate sources to ensure the integrity of procedures.