Egypt’s general prosecution on Sunday passed to the criminal court the trial of 12 fans of Zamalek Sporting Club accused of an assassination attempt against club president Mortada Mansour.
The fans, members of the hardcore supporter group known as Ultras White Knights, are facing charges of attempted murder and possession of firearms for the alleged incident that occurred on 17 August.
Mansour claims that as he was leaving his office in the early hours of the morning, the fans attempted to shoot him, hitting two of his companions and injuring him.
The fans and their lawyer, Tarek El-Awady, deny the incident, claiming that they are the victims of fabricated charges . According to the El-Awady, the group also alleges that whilst in custody its members were tortured by security forces in the presence of Mansour.
Following the arrest of the 12 fans, the Ultras White Knights demonstrated in Cairo’s Shubra neighbourhood on 30 August. The protest was violently dispersed by security forces and 26 Ultras were arrested on charges of violating the controversial Protest Law, rioting, damaging public property and attacking citizens. However, the case fell through in late October and the 26 were released.
Fans have been banned from the majority of domestic football matches since the 2012 Port Said massacre. During a game between the town’s Al-Masry SC and Cairo’s Al-Ahly, 74 of the visiting team’s fans died after they were attacked by men armed with weapons that came from the Al-Masry section of the ground.