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Egypt demands Italy hand over ex-officials accused of stealing artifacts

Dec 18, 2020

Egypt has demanded Italy give up a normal honorary consul and commerce commissioner accused of attempting to smuggle hundreds of stolen antiquities out of the North African country. 

The Egyptian authorities Thursday known as for the extradition of Ladislav Otakar Skakal, Italy’s normal honorary consul in Luxor, and of Italy’s normal commerce commissioner to Egypt, Massimiliano Sponzilli. The 2 countries haven’t got an extradition treaty. 

In January, the Cairo criminal court sentenced Skakal in absentia to 15 years in penal complex. The say prosecutor mentioned he tried to smuggle some 22,000 Egyptian relics to Italy, some of that had been chanced on in his home and deepest protected. 

Italian police in 2017 chanced on a trove of artifacts, which integrated hundreds of golden coins, mummy masks, pottery and a wooden sarcophagus, stashed in a diplomatic shipping container that arrived within the Italian port metropolis of Salerno from Alexandria. The antiquities were later returned to Egypt.

Prosecutors named Raouf Ghali, the brother of a normal Mubarak-generation finance minister, as one in every of Skakal’s Egyptian accomplices. In February, a court sentenced Ghali to 30 years in penal complex for his alleged goal within the smuggling operation. 

Relations between Cairo and Rome are already below stress following an announcement final week from Italian prosecutors that they belief to payment four high-ranking Egyptian safety officers within the 2016 kidnapping and execute of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni. The Cambridge College doctoral student disappeared within the Egyptian capital on the fifth anniversary of the revolution that toppled longtime dictator Hosni Mubarak. His body, exhibiting signs of torture, used to be chanced on off the facet of a toll road days later.  

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