The Port Said Criminal Court postponed Sunday the Port Said “prison clashes” trial to Monday, to continue hearing testimonies from official Ministry of Interior witnesses, state media reported
In the previous trial session, the court ordered former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and high ranking police officers, including Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim, to testify in the trial. However, state media reported that Ibrahim refrained from attending citing security reasons.
Other high ranking officers testified in the session. One of them said that, due to fears of attacks from Ultras Ahlawy, defendants were not transferred, which angered some families of the accused. Some of the families then began firing shots at the prison where two policemen were killed.
He added that the Central Security Forces at first fired tear gas and then fired warning shots to discourage the families from storming the prison. He also told the court that some armed groups started to infiltrate the gathered relatives, adding that he does not know whether police forces outside the prison’s vicinity were carrying arms or not.
The court heard the testimony of a representative of the Forensic Medicine Authority, who said that the majority of the deaths resulted from live shots.
There are 51 defendants from Port Said in the case, charged with the murder of two policemen and 40 others, as well as injuring 150 others on 26-28 January 2013.
Clashes marred the governorate of Port Said for three days, starting on 26 January after the verdict on the Port Said Massacre of February 2012 was released. The verdict saw the sentencing of 21 to death for their responsibility in the deaths of 74 football fans in a football match in February 2012 between Al-Ahly and Al-Masry club.
Angry protesters and the relatives of prisoners gathered outside the Port Said prison where the prisoners sentenced to death were detained. They were accused of attempting to break into the prison.
The army surrounded the prison with 10 armoured vehicles and deployed a tank at the entrance, and implemented a security plan for vital installations in Port Said.
The city then descended into violence, as protesters also broke into a police station east of the city and surrounded the Al-Arab police station.
Following the incident, Morsi declared curfew in the Suez Canal governorates, which was defied by many citizens.