Police have charged two people for setting fire to a planned asylum centre in Lindås Municipality in Hordaland. One man was described as an eastern European in his mid-30s while a description of the second individual was not immediately available.
Police don’t rule out that more arrests could be coming.
“This is not the action of a single man. There are probably more involved. These people are part of an environment that does not support asylum centres in Lindås,” police spokesman Kjell-Idar Vangberg told Bergens Tidende.
The man in his mid-30s was held on remand at an appearance at the Nordhordland Municipal Court on Friday afternoon.
According to Bergens Tidende, the man was first brought in as a possible witness in the case but police found parts of his explanation to be suspicious.
“It was based on his movements on the night of the fire,” Hordaland police prosecutor Harald Bilnerg told NTB.
More arrests likely
The accused man is of eastern European origin and lives in Nordhordland. According to Bergens Tidende, an additional personal has been charged and police suspect several other people of being involved in the fire.
The police said that more arrests of people described as being from the same environment would be coming.
The man in his 30s denies having started the fire at Hotel Lune Huler on Sunday. The hotel was scheduled to house 40 underage asylum seekers after the start of the new year.
“We don’t believe that the man is connected to a specific group but that there are people in his circles who don’t look positively upon the establishment of an asylum centre,” Bilnerg said. “We suspect more are involved.”
According to the man’s lawyer, he is “totally puzzled” by the charges.
Praise on Facebook
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The December 6th fire was praised on several Facebook pages.
“Hurray! Burn up,” one user of an Islam-critical page wrote. That commenter was far from the only one who viewed the fire at Lune Huler positively, Bergens Tidende wrote.
“It is understandable that people get off on these sort of attacks,” wrote one user on a Facebook page that protests against the Norwegian government’s immigration policies.
“This won’t be the last fire,” wrote another.
“Happy Sunday, all of you patriots. We are happy today - ha, ha!” wrote another Facebook user.