Port Said Criminal Court announced Saturday that a verdict will be returned 17 April in the case of 51 defendants accused of breaking into the jail facility of the Suez Canal city in 2013 after initial death sentences had been issued against imprisoned relatives over what is known as the Port Said Massacre.
The defendants are charged with the premeditated killing of two policemen and over 40 peaceful protesters, who locals say were actually killed when policemen opened fire on them.
On 26 January 2013, Port Said Criminal Court sentenced 21 of 73 defendants to death for their involvement in football-related violence that saw more than 70 Ahly fans killed in February 2012.
The verdict sparked violence outside Port Said Prison that left over 40 dead.
In February 2012, over 74 Ahly football club fans were killed in violent circumstances when home team Masri supporters attacked them after the final whistle of a league game in Port Said.
All death sentences in the original Port Said violence case were appealed and reduced. Ten defendants received 15-year sentences, 16 received 10-year sentences, and 15 others received five-year sentences. One defendant received a one-year sentence. Twenty-six defendants were acquitted.