Mixed ruling on antiquities dealer accused of fraud

March 14, 2012 15:16

Jerusalem District Court Judge Aharon Farkash on Wednesday acquitted antiquities dealer Oded Golan of some of the most serious charges of forgery leveled against him due to insufficient evidence.

At the same time, the Israel Antiquities Authority noted that Golan was found guilty of three counts of violating the Antiquities Law, possession of suspected stolen property and according to the judge, “The absolute truth was not a guiding light for Golan.”

Golan was accused of fabricating three major archaeological discoveries: the inscription of King Yehoash, the seal of King Menashe and the ossuary of James, brother of Jesus.

The court held that the prosecution was unable to prove that the findings were fabrications beyond a reasonable doubt. Golan presented the findings more than 10 years ago and experts from the the IAA had concluded that the items were fabricated for the purpose of achieving financial gain by misleading antiquities collectors.

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