Egypt’s antiquities minister cleared in appeal

CAIRO — An appeals court cleared Egypt’s antiquities minister on Wednesday of corruption charges, sparing the international face of Egyptian archaeology from a year in prison.

By (AP)

Published: Wed 15 Jun 2011, 9:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:20 AM

The earlier ruling had found Zahi Hawass guilty of illegally influencing the bidding process for space in the gift shop of The Egyptian Museum, which is home to treasures like Tutankhamun’s gold funerary mask. He was sentenced to a year in prison.

Besides the legal challenge, Hawass has found himself at the center of other trouble since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Critics accused Hawass of being too close to Mubarak, who elevated the antiquities chief to the position of a Cabinet minister shortly before his ouster in a popular uprising.

Archaeology graduates also held protests accusing Hawass of corruption and seeking publicity for himself.

Most troubling for Egypt’s heritage, many antiquities sites have been looted by criminals amid the country’s political upheaval.

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