CAIRO (dpa) – Three Germans and six Egyptians accused of damaging the Great Pyramid in Giza have been sentenced to five years imprisonment, Al-Ahram reported on Wednesday.
Prosecutors accused Dominique Goerlitz and two associates of entering a chamber in the pyramid that was not open to the public and removed paint and rock samples without authorisation.
The three Germans were sentenced in absentia, having left Egypt after the events at the centre of the case. Germany has no extradition treaty with Egypt.
The Egyptian defendants included three Antiquities Ministry inspectors, two guards at the site and the director of a tourism company, all of whom were accused of facilitating Goerlitz’s actions. Goerlitz, 47, who describes himself as an independent “experimental archaeologist,” has not denied taking the samples.
He previously said that “it has never been logically clarified how Bronze Age people 4,600 years ago” could have built the pyramid. Prosecutors said the German defendants “with the aim of harming (Egyptian) national interests disseminated false reports” that the ancient Egyptians could not have built the pyramids.
In August, the samples were retrieved from the German defendants and handed over to the Egyptian embassy in Berlin, according to Egyptian media reports.