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.