Varibombi arson suspect released on bail of 20,000 euros

A 60-year-old man arrested in connection with a large fire on Monday night that razed large tracts of forestland and damaged several homes in Varibombi at the foot of Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, was given conditional release on Thursday after posting 20,000 euros in bail.

The 60-year-old, who has been banned from leaving the country and must report to his local police station twice a month, denied the charges, claiming he had “just gone for a ride” on Tuesday night when police said they caught him in the act of trying to set another fire close to the area where he is alleged to have kindled Monday night’s blaze.

The suspect claimed to have driven to the area to collect building materials.

A police search of his car, which had no license plates, turned up a jerry can of flammable liquid and several lighters.