Egypt's Court of Cassation (Photo: Ahram)
Egypt’s Court of Cassation on Sunday upheld the three-year jail terms given to two people convicted of attempting to smuggle antiquities to Spain in 2009.
The top appeals court rejected an appeal by the two defendants, upholding the jail sentences and a EGP 50,000 fine each.
The case, which dates back over a decade, saw authorities foil an attempt to smuggle around 388 artefacts to Spain in a furniture truck, in what was described at the time as one of the biggest smuggling attempts in the country.
A Damietta criminal court gave the sentences in the initial ruling.
Earlier this year, the Egyptian parliament approved the addition of a new article to the existing law on the protection of antiquities, stipulating that those who are found in possession of or who sell antiquities abroad without official documentation will be punished by imprisonment and a fine of between EGP 1 million and EGP 10 million.
In February, a Cairo criminal court sentenced the brother of Mubarak-era finance minister Youssef Raouf Boutros-Ghali to 30 years in prison for two charges related to smuggling artefacts to Europe.
Botros Raouf Ghali was ordered to pay a fine of EGP 6 million.
In January, a former Italian honorary consul received a 15-year jail term in absentia for his convictions in relation to the same incident.
* 1 USD = 15.7 EGP according to the exchange rate of the Central Bank of Egypt