A Giza Criminal Court acquitted Sunday eight defendants of the hardcore Zamalek SC fan group Ultras White Knights (UWK) of charges of throwing acid on the club’s president.
One member, however, was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
The court refused the prosecution’s appeal and acquitted the defendants, the group lawyer Tarek Al-Awady told Daily News Egypt Monday.
Al-Awady said that Said Moshagheb, a leading figure in UWK movement, was acquitted by the court from charges against him.
“Moshagheb was not present in the trial session. Until this moment we only know he is in the custody of the police, and haven’t personally met him,” Al-Awady added.
The case involved ten UWK members, including Moshagheb who received prison sentence of three months in absentia. Al-Awady explained that an appeal which be looked into in May.
On 16 March, Moshagheb, was arrested and referred to the Criminal Court on charges of attempting to murder the club’s head, Mortada Mansour.
Fellow UWK members of Moshageb’s claimed on their personal social media outlets that he is being subjected to torture.
Al-Awady said a fellow lawyer visited Moshagheb and found signs of torture, although he added he, himself, cannot confirm or deny such accusations.
Also on Monday, the prosecution renewed Moshagheb’s detention pending the investigation on charges of “founding an illegal group”.
Egyptian Ultras groups have become known for their anti-police and anti-government slogans, and are often involved in clashes with security forces. They played a prominent role in the 25 January Revolution and other confrontations with the police thereafter.
Two incidents, the Port Said stadium incident, in which over 70 Ultras Ahlawy fans were killed and, the Air Defence Stadium incident, where 30 Zamalek fans were killed, increased tensions between the groups and the government.
The first trial session of 16 defendants accused of rioting and violence outside the Air Defence Stadium leading to the death of 20 football fans is to be held on 18 April.
In a recent development, the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters postponed Monday the verdict in a lawsuit demanding the banning the Ultras groups’ activities in the country to 27 April.
The Egypt’s Premier League continued Monday after being cancelled for the third time in four seasons.