Four men were referred to the criminal court on Friday in connection with an arson attack and attempted insurance fraud.

The trial in Limassol will begin on February 23.

The suspects are the 47-year-old homeowner who is suspected of collaborating with three men aged 32, 40 and 23 to set fire in his house in order to claim the insurance money.

His wife, 45, was initially arrested but was released earlier this week.

According to police, on December 26, while the family was abroad, two of the suspects, 40 and 23, broke into the house and started a fire.

The homeowner told police that a safe with €180,000, jewellery and two watches worth €30,000 were stolen. The house also has an insured wine cellar for €80,200.

After police arrested the 40-year-old, he revealed during questioning that he and the younger man were paid €1,000 to set the fire. They said they received instructions from the 32-year-old who was the middleman between them and the homeowner.

The suspect insisted they did not steal any money or jewellery. He added they found old televisions and empty wine bottles in the house as well as plastic bottles with the flammable substance they used to start the fire.

The 40-year-old initially agreed to be included in a witness protection programme, but he later changed his mind and did not reveal any more information.

Police are investigating whether the crime is related to insurance fraud as the house owners recently renewed their insurance and requested coverage for fire damage.

The two men, 40 and 23, will remain in custody, while the other two, 47 and 32 were set free on bond pending their trial.