Egypt’s court of cassation has commuted a 30-year prison sentence handed to the brother of Mubarak-era Finance Minister Youssef Botros Ghaly to seven years in prison over smuggling Egyptian artifacts to Europe.
The top appeals court accepted an appeal by the minister’s brother, Botros Raouf Ghaly, and ordered that he pays a reduced fine of EGP 2 million.
In September 2020, Cairo’s criminal court sentenced Ghaly and others to 30 years in prison over two cases related to smuggling Egyptian artifacts to Europe.
The court ordered that Ghaly pay a fine of EGP 6 million in the cases, with the sentence coming nearly a month after a former Italian honorary consul received a jail term in absentia over the cases.
Ladislav Otakar Skakal, the former honorary consul in Luxor, faced charges of smuggling around 22,000 artifacts from various historical periods from Egypt's Alexandria to the Italian port of Salerno with the help of Egyptian nationals.
Investigations revealed that the artifacts 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.
The artifacts, which date to various historical periods, were found by Italian police in May 2018 and returned to Egypt in late June of the same year.
The collection included coins, pottery vessels from different eras, sarcophagi parts, and objects from the country’s Islamic period.