Freed arsonist back on trial for Monchique’s monster blaze

Almost three years since he was ‘caught red-handed’ setting light to scrubland in Monchique, former barman Carlos Fernandes is ‘back on trial’, once again accused of starting six fires which plunged the iconic hillside into a week-long infermo.

Fernandes was only last year condemned to nine years in jail for his crimes and ordered to pay over €2 million in damages.

But various ‘points of law’ ‘saved him’, forcing a retrial.

And because Fernandes had already exceeded the limit for being kept in preventive custody, he was freed (in September last year) much to local frustration and mystification (click here).

Yesterday (Wednesday) saw the new trial open in Portimão, starting with the evidence of the GNR agents who caught Fernandes ‘in flagrante’ on September 3, 2016.

Says Correio da Manhã, Fernandes has not yet made any kind of statement to the court.

Judges yesterday heard that he was found, with a lighter in his hand, starting a fire in the Fóia area.

The GNR agents giving their evidence explained how one of them put the fire out “with his boots”.

The original story suggested Fernandes had been under the influence of medication and setting fires as he drove up the hillside, from the direction of Portimão (click here).

The retrial continues.

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