Egypt court upholds football riot death sentences

Big News Network (IANS)
Saturday 9th March, 2013

An Egyptian court confirmed Saturday the previously awarded death sentence to Port Said football fans over their role in a stadium riot last year, amid continuing tensions over the verdict.

Five people have been sentenced to life and another 10, including two police officers, were given 15 years in jail. Another 28 defendants, including seven police officers, have been acquitted, Ahram Online reported.

Ahead of the final court ruling, authorities tightened security in the Suez Canal city of Port Said and in Cairo in preparation for the anticipated riots.

State television reports said football fans blocked Sadat metro station, located in Tahrir Square, but the blockade ended quickly and the metro later started functioning normally.

In late January, the court sentenced all 21 defendants to death in a trial that is part of the so-called “Port Said tragedy”, a high-profile case of Egypt’s worst-ever football fan clash and stampede that left at least 74 people dead and another 300 injured last February.

The death verdicts triggered violence in Port Said, which lasted for more than a month. The violent protests left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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