Egypt begins trial of 16 over deadly stadium violence

Saturday 18-04-2015 03:26 PM
Egypt begins trial of 16 over deadly stadium violence

Policemen and soccer fans are seen through barbed wire as fans attempt to enter a stadium to watch a match, on the outskirts of Cairo February 8, 2015. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper


CAIRO, Apr 18 (Aswat Masriya) - The Cairo Criminal Court postponed on Saturday the trial of 16 defendants accused of involvement in February's deadly football violence to May 18, during the trial's first session.

The deadly incident broke out ahead of a game between Zamalek and Enppi clubs on February 8 and left at least 19 people dead, according to figures by the East Cairo Prosecution.

Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat had referred to trial 16 defendants over the incident on March 17, 12 of whom were in custody at the time. 

They are charged with murder, vandalism, resisting the authorities and the possession of explosive materials. 

Barakat accused the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of coordinating with Zamalek Sporting Club's Ultras group to commit acts of violence.

According to the prosecution's statement, ultras members gathered outside the gates of the stadium where the game was held, using violence against police forces sent to secure the game.

The prosecution accused the fans of attacking police forces with fireworks and verbally assaulting them, causing the injury of a number of policemen and torching a police car.

The police responded by firing teargas to separate them, the prosecution said, causing a state of "chaos and a stampede" among fans attempting to enter the stadium, and leading to several deaths and injuries.

The incident halted football activity nationwide, until Egypt's premier league resumed on March 30, yet without spectators.

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