The Criminal Court number 1 of Vitoria-Gasteiz will start next monday on trial of the ‘Iruña-Veleia case’, whereby historian Eliseo Gil faces a request of five and a half years in prison by the Prosecutor for falsifying 476 late-Roman pieces unearthed in an archaeological site, in order to present them as “exceptional finds” and, of That way, get a capital benefit.
The facts investigated, for which two Gil employees will also be judged, They occurred between 2005 and 2006 at the Iruña-Veleia (Álava) site, in which this archaeologist worked thanks to an excavation and occupation permit granted by the Provincial Council.
In the course of that period of time, Gil’s team unearthed numerous pieces between the third and sixth centuries, in which later, during the period of washing them, supposedly exceptional findings were found, consisting of inscriptions in the form of writing or drawings.
These findings, which were presented by Gil as revolutionary discoveries about Christianity or the origin of BasqueThey included symbols and writing samples of various themes, from Christian motives, to Egyptian hieroglyphs or phrases and words in Latin or Basque. Gil even commissioned a report from a supposed nuclear physicist – for which the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for a two and a half year sentence for a crime of fraud – in order to prepare three reports that scientifically accredited the alleged authenticity of the findings
However, before growing suspicions about localized inscriptions or graphites Regarding the unearthed materials, the Provincial Council of Álava, owner of the archaeological site, filed a complaint against Gil in 2009, which resulted in judicial proceedings on this case.
In its indictment, the Provincial Prosecutor of Alava concludes that between the months of July 2005 and June 2006, Eliseo Gil and his collaborator Óscar Escribano, «common positions, with prior agreement and with the intention of providing 476 of the pieces found of an alleged historical-cultural-religious value that they didn’t have, caused damage to them by scratching their surfaces ».
The objective of such a procedure – adds the Public Ministry – was make inscriptions on unearthed pieces in order to present them as “exceptional” findings«, Which caused the» irreversible «deterioration of the authentic late-Roman pieces that had been extracted from the excavation site.
The Prosecutor’s brief also emphasizes that both, “in order to provide the supposed pieces of scientific reliability and obtain a patrimonial benefit that did not correspond to them,” they contacted Rubén Cerdán, who “falsely claimed to be a nuclear physicist”, for the realization of three reports of patinas in relation to the intended exceptional pieces. These reports should be based on some analytical assumptions “that were never made”, notes the Public Ministry.
For all these reasons, the Prosecutor’s Office imputes Gil and Escribano sboth continued crimes on the historical heritage and two crimes of fraud in competition with a crime of falsehood in private document, for which he requests for each of these two caused a total of five and a half years in jail.
Also, ask for them a fine with a daily fee of ten euros for 24 months, as well as the special disqualification to carry out any type of work in archaeological sites during the duration of the sentence.
In the case of Cerdán, the Prosecutor’s Office demands that a sentence of two and a half years of imprisonment be imposed for a crime of fraud in competition with a crime of falsehood in a private document.
Likewise, the Prosecutor’s Office requests that a special disqualification be imposed to request any type of subsidy or public assistance related to archeology during the period of the sentence, a request for disqualification that also claims for Gil and Escribano.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office also claims that the three defendants jointly and jointly indemnify the Basque Government with € 285,600 for damages caused to the unearthed pieces. To this compensation request is added another of 12,490 euros, which in this case should be contributed to the Diputación de Álava, for two bills that were drawn by Gil and his team.