After arson attacks on cars in Berlin-Kreuzberg, a man with a relevant criminal record was sentenced to three years and ten months in prison. The 39-year-old set fire to cars as a “political statement”, the Berlin district court justified on Friday. The defendant, who confessed, was found guilty of two counts of arson, five counts of attempted arson, and damaging property.

The 39-year-old, who has been assigned to the left spectrum for years, is said to have placed incendiary devices and incense sticks on the tires of parked vehicles and set them on fire. According to investigations, in the night of October 26, 2021, he had carried out attacks on vehicles in three cases – “due to a situational decision to act,” according to the indictment. Two cars burned out. Three other cars were damaged, according to investigations.

In the next series a month later, police officers could have prevented worse things from happening in two cases, the judgment continued.

In March 2021, the accused also tried to set fire to a construction crane in protest against displacement. There was a significant risk potential. The 39-year-old committed arson attacks to defend himself against what he saw as injustice. “People were affected who had nothing to do with it,” said the presiding judge.

The man had confessed and declared that he wanted “no longer to have anything to do” with such acts. He apologizes. His defense attorney asked for three years in prison. The prosecutor had asked for four years and two months in prison. From the judges’ point of view, the 39-year-old had shown “honest remorse”. The verdict is not yet legally binding.

The accused had already been convicted in March 2011 of arson and property damage to vehicles. He was sentenced to one year and 10 months probation. He had admitted to two crimes and stated that he was significantly drunk.