Dr. Volker Case of Antiquities Smuggling

Dr. Volker Case of Antiquities Smuggling

Dr. Volker Case of Antiquities Smuggling

Hayder Asad Hameed · 2 June 2022

Our client Dr. Volker, 60 years old, is accused of Iraqi antiquities smuggling for possessing two stones suspected of being antiquities, which have been found during searching on his bags at Baghdad International Airport, he has intended to go back to his original country (German). The Iraqi authorities, thus, arrested Dr. Volker with another accused (UK Nationality) in the office policy of the Baghdad International Airport under the Bayaa Investigative Court jurisdiction.

Pursuant to Iraqi Law the Investigative Court is responsible to investigate criminal cases, and then referring the case to the competent court to decide. The Bayaa Investigative Court, therefore, referred Dr. Volker Case to Al-Karkh Criminal Court as accused of antiquities smuggling according to Article 41/1 of Iraqi Antiquities and Heritage Law No. 55 of 2002, which may impose the capital punishment.

Consequently, the Al-Karkh Criminal Court held its first trial against our client on 15 May 2022, and the second trial was supposed to be on 22 May 2022, however, the trial was postponed to 6 June 2022 by our legal team responsible for the case.

The postponement was a result of the challenge (“Intervention Cassation”) that has been submitted by our legal team before the Al-Karkh Criminal Court. The reason beyond taking such a challenge, from our perspective, the court had to take crucial procedures to discover the facts and the circumstances.

One of those procedures is the antiquities experts report. Our legal team has never been granted an opportunity to look at the report’s details. For instance, the age of the stones (“suspected to be antiquities”) or their civilization. In addition, it is necessary to make sure whether those stones were found in a protected area by the concerned governmental parties, and whether that area contains instructions and marks preventing or warning against catching the stones.

Therefore, our legal team considers the above-mentioned reasons and others are necessary to be submitted to the court, as well as, studying the case status and details in deep to reach the facts. Although, the challenge caused postpone the trial, however, the punishment for antiquities smuggling can include sanctions up to the death penalty as stated. Such a situation requires taking all available legal procedures to discover the truth, or even re-investigate the case to prove Dr. Volker innocent, where the result matters, not the time.

Defense Team Members: