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17 June, 2024
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Man gets eight years in Cyprus’ deadly fire

Judge throws local resident in prison after prosecutors said he acted like nothing happened


An elderly man in Cyprus has been sentenced to eight years in prison after he was found guilty in the fire that killed four Egyptian workers.

A Limassol District Court judge ordered a 67-year-old local man behind bars for 8 years in connection with the deadly fire in his village of Arakapas in July 2021. The sentence came down after he was found guilty three weeks ago.

Although there was no direct evidence that his actions caused a deadly fire that killed four Egyptian seasonal workers, state prosecutors had presented circumstantial evidence that linked the blaze to a spot some 25 meters from the man’s rural plot as well as a lighter found in his vehicle.

The four men were killed in the fire after their boss called on them to rush down to Odou village to help put out flames near people’s homes and property. Reports said they 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 turn back on foot to reach a peak that was unaffected by the blaze.

Local media said the man received three sentences which will run concurrently, eight years, one year, and six months for causing a fire, starting a fire in the wild, and starting a fire days prior to the inferno. 

The man has denied starting any wildfires and told the court he had been watering his citrus trees on the day of the incident.

But the judge heard testimony from witnesses who said the defendant had shown no interest in the fires after they started, while others said the man went to a local coffee shop right after starting the deadly fire.

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