The Port Said Criminal Court sentenced 11 defendants to death, whilst postponing the case’s final verdict to a 30 May session.
The court referred the defendants’ files to the Grand Mufti, a routine procedure before ratifying a death sentence, and proposed the next session for the defendants’ final verdict.
There are a total of 73 defendants in the case, sentenced on two separate occasions, including security leaders in Port Said and officials from Al-Masry club.
The first sentence was delivered in January 2013, when 21 people were sentenced to death. The second verdict came in March 2013; the death sentences were ratified, with five receiving life sentences, 10 handed 15 year sentences, two receiving five years and one man receiving a year-long sentence.
A retrial was ordered after the Court of Cassation accepted appeals by the prosecution and defendants.
The defendants are accused of several crimes, including premeditated murder and possession of explosives and weapons. The case refers to clashes that occurred at the end of a match between Cairo’s Al-Ahly team and Port Said-based Al-Masry in February 2012. Clashes broke out between the two sides, yet the police did not intervene, leading to the deaths of 74 Al-Ahly fans.
The killings were a result of ensuing violence; stabbing, beating, being crushed by the stampede or being thrown off the upper tier of the stadium seating.
Fans of the two teams share a deep-rooted rivalry, which often surfaced in the form of minor clashes, but never resulted in causalities until the Port Said stadium massacre.