Pole charged with setting deadly fire in Iceland

A 60-year-old Pole has been charged with setting fire to a multi-family house, in which three Polish nationals lost their lives.

Marek M., last name withheld, was brought before a court in Reykjavik on Monday. He pleaded not guilty.

"What can I say? I am innocent. This is a terrible tragedy," he told the court. He has been also accused of putting at risk the lives of 10 people, who were at home when the fire broke out. Most of them were Polish nationals.

According to the prosecution, on June 25, 2020, the man set fire to the house in three places. Afterwards, made his way to the Russian Embassy and also attacked two policemen before he was detained.

In the opinion of psychiatrists, Marek M. should not be held criminally responsible owing to having a mental disorder at the time of the crime.

Separate proceedings are being conducted against the owner of the house. Icelandic media had earlier reported that the house was in very poor condition.

The trial, which will continue for several days, has been described by the Icelandic press as one of the biggest in the country's history, since one person has been charged with killing three people.