Zahi Hawass, Former Antiquities Minister, Faces Charges in Egypt

Zahi Hawass holds a golden statuette of King Tutankhamun during a news conference in Cairo, on April 12, 2011. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian antiquities minister who stepped down last summer following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, will face charges in Egypt that he “wast[ed] public money and [stole] Egyptian antiquities,” the Egyptian newspaper Al-Arham reports.

Mr. Hawass, who cultivated an “Indiana Jones”-like persona on television, complete with dapper fedora, was close to the Mubarak regime and, according to The New York Times, was paid around $200,000 a year to be “explorer-in-residence” for the National Geographic Society, which publishes National Geographic.

Probably mistranslating that organization’s name, the Arham goes on to say:

Hawass admitted in a television talk show that he had a 17 million dollar deal with the American Geographical Society with regard to a Tutankhamun exhibition to raise donations for Suzanne Mubarak’s association, wife of former president Hosni Mubarak. Suzanne Mubarak’s association was a private association not a state body, and as such Hawass was not legally allowed to use his position as a state minister to raise funds for it.

Zahi Hawass, Former Antiquities Minister, Faces Charges in Egypt