A trial against three young firefighters, suspected of a series of arson attacks in the western German town of Neuss, has kicked off in Dusseldorf. The accused men face prison sentences.
A series of arson attacks struck Neuss between October 2017 and January 2018. Timo G., Rene M. und Mohammad F., aged between 20 and 23, allegedly set 13 cars, trucks and motorcycles ablaze, drenching the picked vehicles with flammable liquid. The fire damaged not only the engines, but also two buildings nearby. The German News Agency, citing a prosecutor, reports that the collateral damage tops about $1 million.
This trio from Neuss’ volunteer fire brigade reportedly went away with arsons as they hoped to take part in fire extinguishing missions. However the outlet Stadt Kurier points out that the suspects didn’t extinguish the blaze themselves, but assisted the firemen with equipment.
"I desired to fight fire and just wanted to belong," one of the suspects stated in court, while the lawyers of the two other defendants gave the same explanation of their motives before the trial began.