Cyprus Mail

Remand for man thought to have started fire (updated)

A four-day remand order was issued by the Limassol District Court on Sunday against the 43-year-old who was operating an electric tool from which the fire that burnt dry scrub and killed animals on Saturday in the Ypsonas/Polemidia area of Limassol started.

The suspect, who arrived at court without a lawyer, denied involvement but did raise any objection to being held in police custody for four days.

Initially police had arrested the 51-year-old owner of the affected farm and his 45-year-old wife as during the course of their investigations both people had been named and the woman is believed to have given false information to the police.

The 43-year-old had undertaken, on behalf of the couple, to build an extension to the farm and according to witnesses he had used an electric tool during his work which started the fire.

Against him charges of causing a fire through negligence are being investigated.

The fire, which was brought under control at 5.25 on Saturday afternoon destroyed half a square kilometre of land, some olive and carob trees, the farm buildings, farm animals and two parked cars.

A total of four helicopters belonging to government services plus two from the British Bases helped fight the blaze.

The Green Party on Sunday said the fire showed once again the weaknesses in the law regarding the welfare of animals. The party said there is no legal requirement for farm animals to be kept in fire proof buildings, something which it has tabled a bill to the House to correct.

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