Egypt court reduces prison sentence for antiquities smugglers

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Friday 17 Feb 2023

Egypt’s Court of Cassation accepted on Thursday the appeal of Boutros Raouf Ghaly on his 15 years prison sentence, reducing it to five years in prison and a EGP 1 million fine for smuggling antiquities to Italy in a case that goes back to 2018.



The court also accepted the appeal of a second defendant in the case, Ahmed Nagdy, and reduced his sentence to three years in prison and a EGP 50,000 fine instead of 15 years in prison.

In February 2020, a criminal court sentenced Ghaly, who is the brother of Mubarak-era Finance Minister Youssef Botros Ghaly, and others to a total of 30 years in prison over two cases related to possessing of and smuggling Egyptian artefacts to Europe.

The first case – that included charges of smuggling – was heard by the Court of Cassation on Thursday.

The second case –  that included charges of possession of artefacts – has not been yet heard before the Court of Cassation.

Among those who were sentenced in the case in absentia Italy's former honorary consul Ladislav Otakar Skakal to 15 years in prison.

Investigations revealed that the artefacts were obtained by the former minister’s brother and shipped in a container under the name of the Italian consul, and so were not inspected due to diplomatic immunity, a judicial source said.

The artefacts, which date to various historical periods, were found by Italian police in May 2018 and returned to Egypt in late June.

The collection included coins, pottery vessels from different eras, sarcophagi parts and objects from the country’s Islamic period.

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