The Trial of Oded Golan is Over: The Verdict is In

Oded Golan has been found innocent.  Here is the important part (emphasis mine):

The District Court in Jerusalem acquitted Golan of all charges of forgery and fraud. The judge, Aharon Farkash, convicted him only of minor charges of selling antiquities without a permit and possession of items suspected to be stolen.

In his decision, the judge was careful to say his acquittal of Golan did not mean the artifacts were necessarily genuine, only that the prosecution had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Golan had faked them.

You can read the full report here:

Matthew Kalman also reports on the events (as a person who has researched the trail extensively).  He marks the following point regarding the ossuary (emphasis mine):

But Judge Farkash, who said he had heard from 126 witnesses and sat through 120 sessions that produced more than 12,000 pages of testimony, acknowledged that the collapse of the criminal trial did not signal the end of the scientific debate over the authenticity of the ossuary.

This is not to say that the inscription on the ossuary is true and authentic and was written 2,000 years ago,” he said. “We can expect this matter to continue to be researched in the archaeological and scientific worlds and only the future will tell. Moreover, it has not been proved in any way that the words ‘brother of Jesus’ definitely refer to the Jesus who appears in Christian writings.’

Read his report here:

All of my reflections on this trial and on the ossuary in general can be found in a forthcoming paper.

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