House fire investigated as premeditated killing

28.07.2020 - 14:36
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Markús Þórhallsson - RÚV
The deadly 25th June house fire on Bræðraborgarstígur in Vesturbær, Reykjavík is being investigated as a case of premeditated manslaughter. This is the wording of the latest custodial order from Reykjavík District Court against the man being investigated for allegedly starting the blaze.

Fréttablaðið has a copy of the custody order relating to the man under investigation over the deaths of three people in the fire, and the four others who needed hospital treatment—two with serious injuries. 

The accused was arrested on the day of the fire and remanded in custody shortly afterwards. The court extended the custody on the request of the police on several occasions; most recently on 15th July. The court papers from that day stat that: “No discussion has taken place with the accused himself about his recent mental illness”. 

The same document says that the accused is strongly suspected of having broken article 211 of the general penal code in Iceland. That article states that anyone taking another person’s life shall face up-to-life-imprisonment, and no less than five years behind bars. 

“Then, the accused is also suspected of breaches against public authorities, having caused a fire which endangered public safety and put the lives of others at risk,” Fréttablaðið reported on Friday. 

The order to extend custody that Fréttablaðið quoted was approved by the court on the grounds that it would be irresponsible for the accused to go free while the investigation continues “when there is a strong suspicion he committed such a serious crime.” 

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Alexander Elliott
Project manager
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