Egypt court confirms soccer riot death sentences

Many residents of Port Said, which is located on the Mediterranean at the northern tip of the Suez Canal, have seen the trial as unjust and politicized, and soccer fans in the city have felt that authorities were biased in favor of Al-Ahly, Egypt's most powerful club.

updated: March 09, 2013 16:48 IST
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Cairo: An Egyptian court on Saturday confirmed death sentences against 21 people for their role in a deadly 2012 soccer riot that killed more than 70 people in the city of Port Said.

The court also sentenced the city's former security chief, Maj. Gen. Essam Samak, to 15 years in prison. Samak was the most senior of nine security officials tried for their part in the riot. Another police official, a colonel, was also sentenced to 15 years in prison. The other seven were acquitted.

Judge Sobhi Abdel-Maguid, who read out the verdict at a Cairo courthouse, sentenced five more defendants to life in prison and eight others — besides Samak and the police colonel — to 15 years in jail. Six defendants received 10-year jail terms, two more got five years and a single defendant received a 12-month sentence. A total of 28 people were acquitted.

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