More than five years ago prosecutors in Israel brought charges against Oded Golan for forging the inscription on the ossuary bearing the Aramaic title, “Ya’akov bar Yosefakhui diYeshua” [James the son of Joseph the brother of Jesus].
Matthew Kalman reports that the trial seems to be coming to an end.
The indictment leveled 44 charges of forgery, fraud and deception against Golan and 13 lesser counts against a co-defendant, antiquities dealer Robert Deutsch. The trial of Golan, Deutsch and three other defendants opened at the Jerusalem District Court in September 2005.
Last Sunday, the defense ended its summing up with just two men left in the dock, bringing to an end five years of court proceedings that spanned 116 sessions, 133 witnesses, 200 exhibits and nearly 12,000 pages of witness testimony. The prosecution summation alone ran to 653 pages.
Yet despite the flood of strong scientific testimony, the feeling in the tiny courtroom, where fewer than a dozen people (including only one reporter) have followed the proceedings, was that the prosecution had failed to prove the items were forgeries or that Golan and Deutsch had faked them.
You may read Kalman’s full report here.
Once the judge issues his decision we still will not have certainty about this artifact.
HT: Joseph I. Lauer
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