Germany: Man sentenced for setting fire to his restaurant

BERLIN (HPD) — A court in Germany on Tuesday sentenced the owner of a Turkish restaurant for commissioning the restaurant’s fire that he later blamed on right-wing extremists in the city of Chemnitz four years ago.

The arson attack occurred in October 2018, weeks after a wave of anti-immigrant protests in Chemnitz in response to the murder of a German for which a Syrian migrant was convicted.

The Chemnitz regional court found the 50-year-old restaurant owner guilty of attempted murder and fraud. Judges said he ordered the fire to collect insurance. He left a window open for his unknown accomplices to enter.

At the time of the fire, 15 people were sleeping in apartments on the top floor of the restaurant. None suffered serious injuries.

Police initially said they could not rule out a xenophobic motive, but were investigating “in all directions”.

The court sentenced the defendant to eight years in prison, the German news agency dpa reported.

The accused’s lawyers had requested acquittal. The verdict is appealable.

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