The Criminal Court postponed to 10 May the trial of 21 Ultras White Knights (UWK) members on charges of the attempted murder of the Al-Zamalek club’s president Mortada Mansour, in a Sunday session.
During the session, the defendants came to the court wearing the Al-Zamalek team shirts. The following sessions will be dedicated to hearing the witnesses’ testimonies.
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.
In addition, he accuses the group of acts of vandalism, and burning the headquarters of the Egyptian Football Association and the Al-Ahly and Al-Zamalek headquarters in his lawsuit.
The prosecution has accused the fans of possessing weapons and damaging public property.
However, after attempts of reconciliation by Mansour, the defence asked the court to release the defendants.
Two weeks ago, families of the imprisoned fans met with Mansour inside the club, with talks of reconciliation and compensations taking place, a source inside the group said.
The source, who requested anonymity, told Daily News Egypt that some families decided to “make peace”, but “this will not be the decision of the group”.
In a recent development, one of the group’s leaders, Said Moshagheb, is being investigated in a case on charges of belonging to an “illegal group”.
Since Mansour took up the club’s chairmanship, there has been an ongoing feud with the UWK.
Mansour had previously filed a lawsuit against the UWK, the football fan group supporting Al-Zamalek, demanding that the group be dissolved and designated as a terrorist organisation.
He also accused the group, in another case, of throwing ‘acid’ on him.
UWK often refer to Mansour as the “dog of the system” for his alleged connections to the Egyptian regime.
Mansour was a defendant in the “Battle of the Camel”, during the 25 January Revolution, but was acquitted.
UWK members are also standing trial on charges of cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood to “spread chaos” during the Air Defence Stadium incident, which left at least 20 fans killed.
A source inside the group said that the trial is politicised, adding that the court is looking upon the defendants “as if [they] are terrorists, and not as defendants in a case”.
The Ultras, a hardcore entity, who derive power from large numbers, have been present in the Egyptian political scene since the first days of the 2011 revolution. However, as like other revolutionary groups, they are facing several lawsuits that demand their designation as a terrorist group.
The Egyptian League continues after the Air Defence incident, but fans are banned from attending any matches.