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27 May, 2024
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22-year-old confesses to igniting seven forest fires

The 22-year-old had been arrested in connection to a recent fire in the Potami village, with the suspect later confessing to being behind six more recent arsons


A 22-year-old who was arrested on August 31 in connection with a forest fire that broke out in a Nicosia suburb the same day later confessed to being behind six other forest fires.

According to the police spokesperson Christos Andreou on Wednesday, the 22-year-old was initially arrested on Monday after he was linked to a fire that broke out just before noon that day in an agricultural section of the Potami village.

A Cyprus court on Tuesday ordered his six-day remand.

After being interrogated by law enforcement officials during his remand period, the 22-year-old confessed to igniting six other forest fires that recently troubled the Nicosia and Morphou districts.

The suspect alleged that the fires spread after he had tried to burn weeds on his own plots, also illegal in Cyprus.

The Peristerona police station is continuing investigations, with the suspect expected to face court once investigations are finalized.

In early August, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis proposed to the Ministry of Justice that the maximum penalty for forest arsonists gets hiked up to a life sentence, which, Kadis said, is the only move that can act as a deterring factor in a country where most forests fires are deliberately set.

Kadis has said the Justice Ministry was already looking into the matter.

He noted that after the revision of the penal code in 2018, the penalty for such offences was set at 20 year imprisonment, which, Kadis noted, does not appear to be acting as an adequate deterrent.

Cyprus  |  crime  |  police  |  arson  |  forest fire

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