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Appeals court acquits man over Norway asylum centre arson

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Appeals court acquits man over Norway asylum centre arson
The 2015 fire at the Lune Huler hotel. File photo: Gunn Berit Wiik Berg / Strilen / NTB scanpix
15:37 CET+01:00
A court has acquitted a man accused by police of being behind an arson attack against an asylum centre.

The man, a 37-year-old Polish citizen, was in November last year sentenced to seven years in prison by Bergen City Court for planning to burn down the Lune Huler hotel, which was slated to be used as asylum accommodation, in December 2015.

He was found guilty under Norway's arson paragraph. At the same time, the man's younger brother was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for setting the fire.

Two people were sleeping in the hotel building at the time the fire broke out.

Both brothers appealed the Bergen City Court verdict, and the case took an unexpected turn at the court of appeals, with the younger brother admitting his guilty while declaring that the 37-year-old had no involvement in the incident.

Last week, the Gulating appeals court found the older of the two brothers not guilty, writes newspaper Bergensavisen.

"He is naturally happy and relieved that this is now over," the man's defence lawyer Fredrik Schøne Brodwal told the newspaper.

The guilty plea of the younger brother will also reduce his sentence, according to the report.

Instead of being sentenced for planning the arson attack, he has now been found guilty of gross vandalism and negligent arson.

That could result in a prison sentence of three and a half years, three years less than his original sentence, writes Bergensavisen.

READ ALSO: Two charged for Norway asylum centre fire

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