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25 June, 2024
 
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Man found guilty in Cyprus’ deadly wildfire

Limassol court orders man jailed after guilty verdict in fire that killed four Egyptian workers

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A man was found guilty in the deadly fire that killed four Egyptian workers in 2021, with a Limassol judge ordering him in custody until his sentencing at the end of the month.

Local media said a 67-year-old male resident of Arakapas, a village in Limassol district, was found guilty after prosecutors presented circumstantial evidence that linked a deadly wildfire in July 2021 to a spot some 25 meters from his rural plot as well as a lighter found in his vehicle.

Prosecutors argued that the man started the fire on purpose and then went to have coffee where he allegedly told another person that a reed forest was in flames.

'He had told a witness that they ought to have left the entire place to burn down so it would get cleared' the judges said in their ruling

The judge panel made references to the defendant’s “obsession with cleanliness” and that he wanted his fields to be without weeds.

“He had told a witness that they ought to have left the entire place to burn down so it would get cleared,” the judges said in their ruling.

Four Egyptian seasonal workers were killed in the fire after locals called on people to rush down to Odou village to help put out the fire. 

The workers had been told to fill a water tank and rush down but their pickup truck quickly became surrounded by fire. Their bodies were found near the vehicle where they got out and tried to escape on foot. They perished as they were trying to reach a peak that was unaffected by the inferno.

The workers had been told to fill a water tank and rush down but they quickly became surrounded by fire.

Limassol police spokesperson Lefteris Kyriacou told Knews that the defendant had been free on bail during the trial but was ordered in custody on Wednesday after the guilty verdict.

Closing remarks will be heard on May 31 while a sentencing hearing is to be scheduled at a later stage.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Limassol  |  Larnaca  |  Arakspas  |  Odou  |  Egyptian  |  seasonal workers  |  court  |  police

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