Switzerland: Kaiseregg fire: two arsonists on appeal

Fire of Kaiseregg: the two incendiaries on appeal

The fire ravaged the Kaiseregg Hotel. Image: Keystone


Six o'clock. It is the duration of the appeal trial that took place on Monday for the two arsonists of the hotel Kaiseregg occurred in August 2017 and whose convictions were pronounced last spring.

The verdict handed down eleven months ago by the Sarine Criminal Court had resulted in the conviction of the owner, aged 62, at 30 months of imprisonment, of which 6 closed months and the rest with a three-year reprieve. The other accused, aged 40, had been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for organizing the fire and other cases.

The project of the two men was to defraud the cantonal building insurance institution (ECAB), which became a civil party. They wanted to destroy the hotel to launch a new real estate project. Both the defense of the two convicts and the Attorney General filed an appeal against the verdict.

Monday's appeal process resulted in a serious pass. The hotel owner's defense was focused on demonstrating that his client was fully engaged in the transformation of his establishment, without ever trying to make it go up in smoke.

Tangible project

The proceedings were launched, even if they took time, and everything proves that they could have succeeded, pleaded his lawyers. Beyond this, they have tried to demonstrate that key witnesses in the case had not provided the necessary evidence to convict their client, which they ask for acquittal.

The owner's partner's defense sought to prove a mechanism that led to his client becoming the ideal culprit, creating an "image of public enemy number one". She denounced the simplified procedure reserved for the arsonist, convicted in December 2017 already by the Criminal Court of Gruyère to a sentence of 33 months, 6 firm month and 27 suspended for four years. The defense of the partner pleaded a relief of the sentence to four and a half of his client.

Solid folder

Attorney General Fabien Gasser insisted that the case was very solid. He has broken down the mode of operation of the main defendant, "who has always sought to surround himself with manipulables," like the person mandated to fire the hotel in January 2015.

Fabien Gasser protested against the will of the defendants to develop a theory of conspiracy, as if the public prosecutor had from the beginning sought to condemn them. He objected to the first verdict, finding him insufficiently severe for the partner, who had already completed two years in prison, and asked for a five-and-a-half-year sentence.

After giving up transformations, the owner of the Kaiseregg hotel planned to build rental properties. But he has not received a demolition permit, the building being classified.

Verdict Tuesday

In autumn 2014, in desperation, the owner has entered into relation with his future partner, found guilty in the first instance of having mandated the third individual to fire the hotel, in exchange for 20'000 francs , a sum that the arsonist has never received.

The verdict of the trial on appeal must fall Tuesday afternoon in open session. (Ps / nxp)

Created: 11.02.2019, 18h18

This article appeared first on https://www.24heures.ch/suisse/incendie-kaiseregg-deux-incendiaires-appel/story/20747009