New court ruling in Spain on forest fire which killed eleven

New court ruling in Spain on forest fire which killed eleven

21 May 2009

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Spain — The judge investigating the 2005 Guadalajara fire has archived the case against nine suspects, but keeps 20 on the list

After almost four years of instruction, the judge investigating the horrific forest fire which killed 11 people in Castilla-La Mancha in 2005 has decided to archive the case against nine of the suspects. Charges remain against another 20, and the next stage now is a 10-day period from 20th May for those placing charges in the case to formally request an oral hearing.

The fire was started in Guadalajara on 16th July 2005 by a spark from a barbecue and razed almost 13,000 hectares before it was finally extinguished. Eleven fire fighters lost their lives.

Sergio David González, the regional government’s former representative in Guadalajara province, and José Ignacio Nicolás, director of forestry policy, both face charges of serious negligence. Europa Press reports Rosario Arévalo, who resigned as the Junta’s environment councillor shortly after the tragedy, to be also amongst those charged. José Luis Samper, Mayor of Riba de Saelices, where the fire broke out, is another.

It’s understood the judge in Sigüenza has removed Carlos Rojo, who was in charge of the lookout tower in Riba, from her list of suspects.

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