A forest warden accused of starting Gran Canaria's biggest ever forest fire is to go on trial seven years after the blaze.
Gran Canaria - 08.05.2014 - Juan Antonio Navarro is to be tried by jury at the Criminal Court on the recommendation of the local court of instruction in Arucas. Navarro is accused of deliberately cusing the blaze in the summer of 2007 which destroyed 20000 hectares of woodland and saw the authorities evacuate nearly 5000 people from their homes on the island. The court has banned him from leaving Spain until the trial and ordered him to deposit a massive bond of 70 million euros within 24 hours or have his assets seized. Given that he worked as a warden at the time, the island's Cabildo is jointly liable for any damages award made if he is convicted. News of the trial has been welcomed as it sends a clear message on the eve of the summer season which invariably sees forest blazes affect the Canaries, many of them caused deliberately.