Court sentences Egyptian businessman, former MP to 3, 5 years in prison for antiquities trafficking



Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 06:03 GMT


Thu, 19 Jan 2023 - 06:03 GMT

CAIRO – 19 January 2023: A cassation court sentenced on Thursday Egyptian businessman Hassan Rateb and former Parliament member Alaa Hassanin to three and five years in prison respectively over antiquities trafficking charges.

The court also ordered fining the two defendants LE 1 million each.

Defendants in the case known as the “great antiquities case” have been convicted with antiquities trafficking and excavation as well as funding excavation activities.

The cassation court’s ruling is final and reduces the five and 10-year-prison sentences handed against Rateb and Hassanin respectively last April.

Rateb was arrested in late June 2021 over charges of providing millions of Egyptian pounds to Hassanin and his brother to help them in illegal digging for antiquities.

The Egyptian Prosecution Public Prosecution said the 227 artifacts, seized with an excavation gang believed to be led by 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 TV 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.



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