Cairo Criminal Court convicts Alaa Hassanein, Hassan Rateb in 'Massive Artifact Looting' case



Thu, 21 Apr 2022 - 11:57 GMT


Thu, 21 Apr 2022 - 11:57 GMT

FILE – Hassan Rateb (r) and Alaa Hassanein – Al Ahram

FILE – Hassan Rateb (r) and Alaa Hassanein – Al Ahram

CAIRO – 21 April 2022: Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Thursday former Parliamentarian Alaa Hassanein to 10 years in prison, and Businessman Hassan Rateb to five years in prison in the case known as the "Massive Artifact Looting."


The Public Prosecution's arraignment charged Hassanein with illegally excavating artifacts, and committing the crimes of trafficking and smuggling them through a gang he had formed. As for Rateb, he is convicted of funding Hassanein and his gang to commit such crimes.


Security forces arrested Rateb, who is the former owner of Al Mehwar TV channel, in June, after Hassanein confessed during interrogations that he received funds worth millions of pounds to search for antiquities.


The arrest of Hassanein and 17 others followed a police raid that unveiled they possessed 227 artifacts.


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, Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Islamic ages, according to the prosecution’s statement. The pieces also fall under the antiquity protection law, the committee affirmed.


The prosecution said it seized four deep digging sites, noting that the antiquities committee confirmed that the digging work was made to excavate antiquities.


Rateb is accused of funding the digging process, which, according to the police investigations, occurred in different areas in the republic. On the other hand, Hassanein denied connection with the seized objects and the other gangsters.


Both men had been apprehended pending investigation by the Public Prosecution, before they were referred to court in December to get prosecuted in custody.


In January, Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the first hearing session to the following month upon a request of Rateb's lawyer, who demanded sending his client to hospital to receive treatment for he is a cancer patient.


It is noted that Rateb had hired renown Lawyer Farid al-Dib, who was also the attorney of late President Hosni Mubarak, who stood trial in several cases, after he had been overthrown by January 25, 2011 Revolution.


After hearing the witnesses and the attorney's pleading in February and March, the court designated April 21 to issue the verdict.  



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