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Zahi Hawass under investigation for graft

 
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:32 pm    Post subject: Zahi Hawass under investigation for graft Reply with quote

World-famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass under investigation for graft (Ahram Online - Wednesday 23 Apr 2014)
Quote:
Hawass accused by former colleagues of illegally amassing $14 million in US banks

World-renowned Egyptologist and former antiquities minister Zahi Hawass is under investigation by Egypt's authorities on charges of illicit gains, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported on Wednesday.

The superstar archaeologist and former secretary-general of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) has been accused by officials at the council of illegally acquiring a fortune of some $14 million kept in US banks. ...

Greetings, Lutz.
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A M Street
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I wouldn't go as far as to describe him as "World-renowned" exactly.

More like controversial or notorious.

Still, he will presumably have his day in court and then we might know what has been going on. If, as is alluded to in the piece, he has been helping himself to state property then I expect that the authorities will come down heavily on him. Not that he would be the first to help himself to such assets.

Whether anything can be done about his alleged off-shore banking activities is another matter. I'm not sure if Egypt has any laws against holding funds off-shore but if they do make a case of it then surely those on the other side of the contract should be investigated for bribery or inappropriate payment to state officials.

Or as we say in the UK, "Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office."
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A M Street wrote:
... those on the other side of the contract should be investigated for bribery or inappropriate payment to state officials. Or as we say in the UK, "Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office."

Tut-Tut: Did Nat Geo Bribe Egypt’s Famed Indiana Jones? (Aram Roston - Oct 27, 2013)

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neseret
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
A M Street wrote:
... those on the other side of the contract should be investigated for bribery or inappropriate payment to state officials. Or as we say in the UK, "Conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office."

Tut-Tut: Did Nat Geo Bribe Egypt’s Famed Indiana Jones? (Aram Roston - Oct 27, 2013)

Greetings, Lutz.


Is it possible that this case led to the present one about the lost $14 million? That sum pretty well tallies up with the amounts paid for the various exhibitions and documentaries paid by US groups, I've heard.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He must have made money from those lecture tours. I attended one at the Indig02 a few years ago (neseret was there too I believe), and he had around 2000 people packed into the theatre, all of whom paid around £20 GBP (going from memory). I realise money goes to the venue but he didn't speak for long, what "new" information there was seemed to be more of a tease than anything else - and in fact most of the things he talked about finds in the VOK have either not been published or turned out to be nothing. It was a disappointing evening, but I did get to talk to quite a few people with similar interests which made it worthwhile for me.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Lutz.

I read the Roston article, which I had not seen before, and a number of things stood out.

It looks like Hawass is off the hook as far as the US is concerned. They having no jurisdiction over a foreign national in this case. The same can not be said for either National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. They can surely have a few very awkward questions to answer.

The Egyptian side could be another matter. It seems that Hawass has been in bad odour with the authorities and they could use this case to attack him. However, the trouble Hawass has been in was under the Morsi regime and with el-Sisi looking likely to be the next president, who knows? It may well be that it will be business as usual and Hawass will be rehabilitated and take the reins of Egyptian archaeology once more.. A not too pleasant prospect, that.

Another thing that stands out is that it appears that Hawass has learned nothing by his misfortune and is stil as arrogant and conceited as ever :

“No one can bribe me,” he adds. “I’m the most famous Egyptologist.”

Hmmm, many might beg to differ.

Lastly, he seems to have a very strange view of the world and a sense of priorities:

“You can forget those who kill people,” he said, angrily, “but you cannot forget those who try to kill history. "

So his business, i.e. punting Ancient Egypt is all important and the deaths of people is a minor matter.

He might want to sort that point of view out a bit, I think.

Still, as most of the people Hawass comes into contact with are already dead, maybe that has skewed his outlook.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also think that possible results from U.S. authorities regarding bribery by NG could again bring Hawass into difficulties in Egypt. Without this it would be difficult to draw him in his own country again to justice. And without a conviction for illegal wheeling and dealing as head of the SCA / Minister is (with look on the still difficult and unpredictable situation in Egypt) a return to this office by no means ruled out...

Greetings, Lutz.
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