Egypt court issues a gag order in 'Zamalek apartment's antiquities' trial

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Feb 2022

A Cairo criminal court issued a media gag order on Tuesday in the trial dubbed in media as “Zamalek apartment’s antiquities case” where a judge and his wife face charges of trading in antiquities and illegally possessing artefacts.

Part of the antiquities found in the apartment owned by the defendant in Cairo (Photo : Egyptian Public Prosecution video s screen shot)

Egypt’s Public Prosecution referred in early February the judge and his wife to trial after 1,503 ancient artefacts were discovered in their apartment in the upscale Cairo neighbourhood of Zamalek.

The artefacts date back to the ancient Egyptian and Islamic eras as well as the Mohamed Ali Dynasty, the prosecution said in its referral-to-court statement on Wednesday, adding that the defendants were in possession of 119 artefacts from Egypt’s khedival period.

The seized pieces were not registered with the Supreme Council of Antiquities, which is in charge of “protecting Egyptian heritage,” the prosecution said.

The case dates to May when police found a large quantity of ancient artefacts and rare jewelry in a Zamalek apartment owned by judge Ahmed Abdel-Fattah while executing an unrelated warrant against his son, Karim.

The accused judge, who works in Kuwait, is the son of Abdel-Fattah Hassan, a former interior minister under King Farouk, the ruler of Egypt between 1936 and 1952 and the last ruler from Mohamed Ali's family.

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