Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sentences for fire setting to be increased

MADRID The Justice Minister, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, announced on Tuesday that the Council of Ministers will approve this month, to come into effect in September, an change in the Criminal Code to increase sentences on those found guilty of setting forest and brush fires, and to require financial responsibility for the damage caused. The announcement was made in Santiago de Compostela, where the minister was meeting the President of the Galician region, Alberto Núñez Feijoo. Galicia is very prone to fire setting in the summer. Maximum prison sentences will thus be increased to six years, one more than at present. Three new aggravating factors will also apply: that the fire is set close to an inhabited area, that it impacts a special environmental protection area, and, "particularly important" in the minister's words, that the fire is set at a time of particular weather or terrain conditions that "relevantly" increase the possibility of the fire propagating extensively.

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