Cairo Criminal Court sentences defendants in 'Zamalek Apartment Case' to 5 years in prison, LE2M fine



Sun, 19 Jun 2022 - 09:31 GMT


Sun, 19 Jun 2022 - 09:31 GMT

FILE – Part of the artifacts confiscated at the Zamalek apartment

FILE – Part of the artifacts confiscated at the Zamalek apartment

CAIRO – 19 June 2022: Cairo Criminal Court issued Saturday its verdict in the lawsuit known as "The Zamalek Apartment Case" sentencing the two defendants, a man and his wife, to five years in prison and a LE2-million fine, over charges of artifact trafficking.  


A few months ago, police stormed into an apartment in one of Cairo's most expensive neighborhoods Zamalek to enforce a court order of confiscating the unit to pay back a debt owed by the owner's son.


Yet, the findings were a surprise as 1,384 artifacts belonging to the eras of Ancient Egypt, Islamic Civilization, and Khedevian Centuries were stored in the apartment. Further, 119 belongings of the Mohamed Ali Family were hidden in breach of the confiscation decree issued by the Revolutionary Command Council on November 8, 1953.


A Cairo court decided in June 2021 to form a technical committee of the Supreme Council of Antiquities and the Ministry of Culture to check movables from an apartment and a shop in a building in the cosmopolitan neighborhood of Zamalek.


Located on 20 Mansour Mohamed St., the apartment and the shop had been sequestrated and placed under supervision of the prosecution.


A legal committee that oversaw the implementation of a final verdict in an inheritance lawsuit had detected huge amounts of ancient and historical movables, as well as jewelry, inside the apartment and shop.


The defense team representing the litigant against whom the lawsuit was filed had submitted documents proving his client's ownership of the apartment and its contents.


The legal committee took necessary measures to secure the apartment by sealing all windows and the door and installing cameras everywhere inside and outside the apartment.


Also a metal detector machine was placed outside the apartment, with a police force monitoring the situation around the clock.


The technical committee wrote a report indicating that 1,204 ancient Egyptian and Islamic pieces, as well as 787 belongings of the Mohamed Ali Dynasty, are among the movables of the apartment.


Those had been attained through auctions that are regularly held under the supervision of the Ministry of Antiquities to sell retrieved pieces that had been smuggled out of Egypt. 


The technical committee has already examined 216 paintings; 103 of which are of great historical and financial value and could very well be showcased at museums and 10 could be displayed at the Egyptian National Library and Archives.


A Colt Cobra and some ammunition, as well as sums of money of different currencies, were also found inside the apartment.


The litigant and his father against whom the lawsuit was filed have proven that they have an antique possession license, but do not have legal permission to attain belongings of the Mohamed Ali Dynasty. They are also not licensed to possess any firearms.


Additional reporting by MENA



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