Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Text of the Forgery Indictments

At long last, I have received a copy of the forgery indictments, in Hebrew. As you know, I've had a merry chase trying to get copies. My heartfelt thanks go to Greg Myre of the New York Times, Gil Kleinman of the Israeli police, and the office of Yaakov Galanti of the Ministry of Justice, who e-mailed me the text. Todah rabbah!

Before the end of the day I'll put it up on the public part of my website, in PDF format if possible.

First gleanings. Besides the James Ossuary, Jehoash tablet, and Moussaeiff Ostraca, which have already been mentioned here, 5 other ostraca are named in the indictment as forgeries, all of which were sold or attempted to be sold to Shlomo Moussaieff, including the "Beka Yerushalayim" ostracon, with which I am not familiar; the stone menorah; the "King Menasseh" seal, refused by Moussaieff, and 28 bullae; the "Baruch" bulla; a collection of 162 bullae, refused by Moussaieff; the "Shishak" bowl; the Mattanyahu decanter; and the "Chalcolithic cache," an assemblage of objects put forth as dating from the Chalcolithic period.

Also this factoid, which I had not heard:
During the year 2003, several months after the beginning of the inquiry on the ossuary, Accused No. 1 [Golan] approached Jamil Wazawz [?-EMC] and asked him to approach his father, Ottoman Wazawz, and request that he sign an affidavit that he, Ottoman Wazawz, had sold the ossuary to the Accused No. 1 more than 30 years ago.

The Accused No. 1 offered to pay for the signature on the affidavit between $5,000 and $10,000 US dollars.

The Accused No. 1 suggested this while knowing that Ottoman had not sold to the Accused the ossuary at all, that the content of the affidavit would be false, and that in the inquiry by the police Ottoman would swear to the false affidavit.
I can't undertake to translate the whole indictment — it's too long — but as I go through it, I'll try to include interesting excerpts in this weblog.

UPDATE: The Hebrew text in PDF format is available here (download will start immediately).

1 comment:

Yuval Goren said...

Ed, the "Beqa’ Yerushalaim" ostracon was published in "Shlomo" (the Shlomo Moussaieff festschrift, edited by Robert Deutsch). An official of the Israel Antiquities Authority has told me that an English translation of the indictment will soon appear on its website:
In the ANE discussion list we’ve been told today that Hershel Shanks will soon tell us “the true story” about the James ossuary. I hold my breath, wondering which “true story” will he tell us now.