The Prosecutor General claimed that Muslim Brotherhood members provided hardcore fan group Ultras White Knights (UWK) with money and explosive materials to commit violence and riots during the 8 February Zamalek SC and ENPPI football match.
The materials were used “to sabotage the Economic Summit”, Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat said in a statement on Tuesday.
The deaths took place before the match as fans were attempting to enter the Air Defence Stadium.
He added that some members of the outlawed Brotherhood group confessed to the alleged crimes to “create a state of anarchy to sabotage the Economic Summit”. In addition, “some members of the Ultras said they received financial support from Brotherhood leaders”, the statement said.
Following the 8 February incident, UWK members accused police of using birdshot and tear gas to disperse the gathering of fans. However, the prosecution said in a report that the “defendants from the Ultras gathered at the gates, used force and violence against the police, and fired fireworks at the forces, while repeating anti-government chants”.
Their “criminal” actions injured police personnel and damaged security vans, the statement said, adding that the police then retaliated with firing tear gas which caused a stampede leading to the 27 deaths.
The defendants are now charged with murder, rioting, destroying public properties, and “resisting authorities” as well as possessing explosives, and will be referred to the Criminal Court.
The prosecution’s figures match those of the Forensic Medicine Authority, which issued an initial report claiming no deaths were caused by live ammunition, birdshots or suffocation from tear gas.
Previously, the prosecution also ordered the arrest of a number of UWK leaders accusing them of inciting the stadium’s storming.
The UWK’s statement responded to the prosecution’s procedures by saying the “truth is clear before the whole world and we know who incited and who killed”.
Larger numbers of fans arrived at the stadium before the match and security forces, deployed at the stadium for security, were reluctant to allow the fans in, with or without tickets. Fans were refused entry due to the mass crowding at the gate.
A narrow metal tunnel was put inside the gates in order to reduce the numbers of fans entering at once. Security forces used tear gas and birdshots to disperse the crowding fans in the tunnel, according to videos, pictures and testimonies circulated on social media.
Crowds of fans tried to escape and the stumbling resulted in scores of injuries and deaths.
In an official statement, the Ministry of Interior said: “Large numbers of ticketless fans tried to storm the stadium, which caused security forces to prevent them from damaging the stadium facilities.”
The killings led to uproar from different political parties, coalitions, opposition groups and institutions. All parties mourned the dead and expressed their condolences to the victims’ families.