Accusation against minister of antiquities referred to prosecutor-general

Nevine El-Aref , Tuesday 22 Feb 2011

Zahi Hawass has requested all the charges made against him in a recent newspaper article be investigated

Zahi Hawass, minister of antiquities, has sent a report to the Prosecutor-General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud after allegations were published against him in Al-Wafd newspaper. He has been accused of smuggling Egypt’s antiquities on behalf of former president Hosni Mubarak’s family. The newspaper quoted the accusations of archaeologist Nour Abdel Samad.

Hawass stated that the accusations published in the newspaper are unfounded and an insult without any documents to back them up.

According to documents obtained by Ahram Online, dozens of disciplinary decisions were taken against Abdel Samad, including suspension from duty, culminating in him being sent before a disciplinary tribunal. During his time at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, now the ministry of antiquities, from 1987, he wrote complaints and filed lawsuits without proof.

In 2005, a disciplinary tribunal suspended Abdel Samad two months after he reported a golden artefact missing from the Marina archaeological site administered by a Polish excavation mission. The whole case was sent to the Prosecutor-General in 2004 in order to carry out investigations.

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