Egypt military court acquits leading Ultras White Knights members over 2015 convention centre fire

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Oct 2018

File photo: Fans of Zamalek's Ultras White Knights (Photo: Reuters)

An Egyptian military court acquitted on Tuesday a leading member of the Zamalek football fan club Ultras White Knights who was charged with setting fires at the Cairo International Convention Centre in 2015.

The court acquitted Sayed Moshagheb, who is one of the key members of the banned Ultras group, and seven others.

The 2015 fire at Egypt's largest convention centre injured at least 40 people, 10 of whom were hospitalised for smoke inhalation and other injuries.

In 2017, Moshagheb was acquitted by a military court of illegally protesting in 2013 in front of the State Security headquarters in Cairo.

Moshagheb is already serving a seven-year sentence after he was convicted in 2017 on violence charges during clashes with police in February 2015.

Moshagheb has not exhausted his appeals in the 2017 case.

Since their emergence in Egypt in 2007, the Ultras have been involved in numerous clashes with security forces, and have also played a role in political protests, including during the 2011 revolution.

Hundreds of members of the Ultras have since been arrested and tried on a variety of charges, including inciting violence.

In May 2015, an Egyptian court banned Ultras groups in the country, based on a lawsuit filed by the chairman of Zamalek football club Mortada Mansour.

Three years later, Ultras White Knights announced it was disbanding, as did Al-Ahly’s Ultras Ahlway group.

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