After a five-hour interrogation session, the Cairo appeals court released a camel tour operator at the Giza Pyramids on LE5,000 bail, over charges of helping a Danish photographer and his girlfriend shoot a pornographic video atop the pyramid.
The prosecution released a second woman, who knew the photographer and his girlfriend online.
According to police investigations, 33 year-old Andreas Hvid, the Danish photographer, arrived in Cairo in November 19, and left in December 4.
His girlfriend, 20 year-old Josephine Sara, arrived in Cairo on November 28 and left November 30.
The camel operator Moussa Omar Moussa helped the two climb Khofu Pyramid on November 29, in return for LE4,000, in coordination with a girl named Hend Ali Ibrahim, who got to know the two tourists online.
Moussa said during interrogations that he informed the two tourists climbing the pyramid was banned, and asked them for US$1,400, which they rejected. He later agreed to help them climb in the morning, but at that time, they did not arrive.
The couple surprised him at 8 pm, at a shop he owned near the pyramids area, and agreed on climbing the pyramid in return for LE4,000. Moussa added that the Antiquities Ministry’s supervisor was absent when they arrived at the pyramids. He took the money and left them there.
Ibrahim, 31, a Faculty of Science graduate, said she knew Hvid through social media before helping him, and they had met in a cafe in downtown Cairo, where he shared his dream of climbing the pyramids.
She added that she met with Hvid on November 28, accompanied by a girl at the Sphinx area. They showed her a photo of Moussa, and said they were looking for him. They searched for him, and after finally finding him, Moussa asked for $1,400 to help them climb the pyramids.
The two tourists called Ibrahim around 7 pm on November 29, and she met them at the pyramids area, then left them after they met with Moussa.
She later learned from Moussa that he helped the couple climb the pyramid, she added.
Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities issued a statement earlier in December, to respond to the video’s viral spread. “Regarding the short video circulated and published yesterday evening depicting two foreigners climbing the pyramid at night, before uploading an obscene picture of both of them, Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani has decided to ascertain the truth and take necessary action,” the statement read.
The Ministry filed a memorandum on the incident with the top prosecutor’s office, the statement continued, in order to investigate the matter.
A similar video was posted online in 2014, which gained widespread attention in 2015 when local paper Al-Masry Al-Youm published a story on the incident, with screenshots that blurred out a woman’s breasts.
The privately-owned paper described the video as depicting nudity and sex acts by Russian-speaking tourists, near the 4,500 year-old Giza pyramids and the Sphinx. Reuters was unable to confirm the contents of the video.
The earlier clip prompted a strong social media backlash, from across the relatively conservative Muslim country.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm.