Cassation Court postpones Port Said trial

Mostafa Salem
3 Min Read

The retrial of 48 defendants, accused of being responsible for the “Port Said massacre”, was postponed on Thursday to 6 February by the Cassation Court.

The defendants had received different sentences during their initial trial, which ranged from a one-year detainment to the death penalty. The prosecution and the defence have both appealed the first ruling, to which the Cassation Court complied.

The trial refers to the events dating back to 1 February 2012 when a highly competitive game and tense atmosphere saw Al-Masry SC Port Said fans storm the pitch to attack the visiting team fans. Ultras Ahlawy, Ahly SC’s fan base, suffered the most losses with the death of over 70 members.

Mohamed Homos, Ultras Green Eagles leader, was sentenced to death during the first trial on 26 January after being found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder. Homos’ father, Adel Shehata, said that “all he wishes for is a fair trial”.

Shehata said that the “the trial is extremely politicised” and claimed that public opinion affected the outcome of the case.

“Not one thing incriminates my son, and yet, he has received the death penalty; the truly responsible individuals are walking,” he said.

“My son will be the scapegoat in this trial… the government and Attorney General are weary of Ultras Ahlawy’s reaction if my son is deemed innocent,” Shehata added.

Port Said Criminal Court reviewed the case of the 71 individuals accused of being responsible for the events on 26 January, sentencing 21 to death and acquitting 28. The rest were handed different sentences, ranging from life in prison to one year in jail.

The relatives of those convicted stormed the prison in an attempt to free them, which resulted in clashes with prison security and the death of two policemen.

Initial reports revealed that several of the stadium gate locks were wielded shut, preventing anyone from escaping. Al-Ahly Ultras held the people of Port Said, the police and SCAF, the country’s ruling authority at the time, responsible.

Ultras Ahlawy group has been constantly calling for those responsible to be handed the death sentence, particularly officials from the Ministry of Interior.

High-ranking police officials who had been handed sentences after the first trial are also among the appellants. These include the head of the Port Said security directorate and six of his aides.

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