Pact to close the case of the great fire of Horta de Sant Joan (Tarragona) that in July 2009 ended the lives of five firefighters of the Generalitat. This Wednesday, when twelve years after the fire, the two men who caused the disaster have closed an agreement with the accusations exercised by the Prosecutor’s Office and the Government by which they accept sentences of four and three years and nine months in prison respectively.
The sentence of conformity, which will be published in the coming days, will condemn the defendants for the crimes of reckless homicide, injury and also the forest fire. The sentences requested by the prosecutors, who asked for 20 years in prison for each defendant, are lowered in exchange for the arsonists have admitted the facts and have paid compensation of nearly nine million euros to the relatives of the deceased and the damage to the forest and crops, reports the ACN.
Firefighters Jordi Morè, 40, Pau Costa, 31, Ramon Espinet, 47, David Duaigües, 29, and Jaume Arpa, 40, died as a result of the burns. Josep Pallàs, then 36 years old, was burned in 75% of the body, survived, and today continues in the fire department, as he explained in an interview with elDiario.es two years ago, when it was a decade after the fire.
Both defendants had overwhelming evidence against them that have pushed them to a pact with the accusations with which they avoid sitting before a popular jury. On the other hand, the accusations have also given their approval to the pact given that, in case of trial, the eventual sentence would end up being much less than the 20 years requested due to the delay that has accumulated the procedure.
The two men lit a fire on July 20 at dusk in the area of the ravine of Covars dels Ports de Beseit without taking any precautions and being fully aware of the consequences it entailed. According to the investigation, the fire was not only provoked by the defendants, who caused it deliberately, that is, they were aware of the serious danger that the flames would generate for people and nature, since in the area there were inhabited ‘masías’ and it was near Horta de Sant Joan.
Both of them agreed toThe investigating judge added when he sent them to trial, they did not warn the emergency services and lied to the owner of a ‘masia’, to whom they said they had called 112 when in fact the first call was made by a farmer in the area at 21:03:18h. As a result of the fire lit by both defendants, the flames spread through the bush and the fire was not controlled until three days later. In addition to the firefighters belonging to the GRAF of Lleida who died when they were surrounded by flames after a sudden change of wind, the fire burned 1,182.45 hectares, according to the judicial expert.