Martigny Red Ice supporters tried for riot in …

The facts date back to January 28, 2017. On the way to see their team of Red Ice Martigny, playing at the time in the Swiss League, in the lair of HC Thurgau, the bus of supporters had stopped at the ice rink of St. Léonard in Friborg at midday. The goal was to take a few other fans from the Valais club.

Pulling the emergency handle to open the rear door of the vehicle, about 50 supporters had descended to find themselves facing around fifteen Friborg supporters, who had come to attend a Friborg-Gottéron training session. A fight quickly broke out, causing two minor injuries.

Tags had also been sprayed on Gottéron installations and road infrastructure. A pyrotechnic device had been set on fire without causing injuries. Some 40 police officers had intervened to identify the protagonists. The search of the bus had led to the discovery of pyrotechnic and narcotic devices.

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19 defendants present

Of the 27 appellants, aged 21 to 38, 19, including a woman, appeared before the police judge of the district of Sarine in Friborg on Wednesday. The latter interrogated them in turn, knowing that their conviction by criminal order in September 2017 was based on depositions before the Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The questions concerned their presence or not on a photo of the group of Valais supporters taken in front of the BCF Arena. It was for them to say if they were there, what they did afterwards and if they had seen some of them enter the ice rink of Friborg-Gottéron. The exercise refreshed memories.

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The judge most often moved to the defendants to produce the photograph before their eyes. Only one of them preferred to remain silent, believing that he had already said everything to the prosecution. The rest were cooperative, saying they were ready in the event of a criminal conviction to do community service.

Concordant answers

All of the responses highlighted that no one had seen anyone enter the St-Leonard ice rink. That all those who were photographed had returned to the bus in the process, some having even remained towards the smoking vehicle with the driver, finally seeing the scene of the crowd from quite a distance.

Of the 19 defendants, 10 were represented by three Valais lawyers. The other 9 came alone. All of them showed respect for the judicial authority during the three hours of questioning. Seven were found to have already completed criminal records.

One of them even received a conviction in 2018 in the canton of Solothurn for similar acts in 2013. “Which has already cost me enough,” he told the judge. Laughter broke out when the few cases of drunk driving were mentioned. Two situations with explosive substances and narcotic drugs also arose.

Pleadings for the end of January

One of the defendants is currently in a delicate situation with investigations involving him for drunk driving, riots and the possession of drugs. Beyond that, the courses reflect well the society, many exercising a trade in the sale, some being unemployed and three carrying out university studies.

The bus driver, for his part, testified at the start of the hearing to recall the events. Of the eight defendants who appealed, but who did not travel, four were excused. The latter will be heard on January 31, the day of oral argument. The verdict will fall later.

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At the end of the time limit for appealing against the criminal order, 18 of the protagonists had accepted their conviction. Most have been fined 10 days, the amount of which ranges from 10 to 110 francs depending on their income. For seven of the rioters, who already had criminal records, the sentences were firm.

The rest were suspended, with a fine of 300 francs. Four of the brawlers have also agreed to convert their monetary penalties to 40 hours of community service. The most heavily convicted supporter had to pay nearly 2,000 francs, taking into account the revocation of a previous stay.

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