ARCHIV - 09.09.2014, Bayern, Bamberg: 09.09.2014, Bayern, Bamberg: Eine Statue der Justitia hält eine Waage in ihrer Hand. Richter in Deutschland müssen nach Ansicht der EU-Kommission besser bezahlt werden. Die Brüsseler Behörde verweist in einer am Mittwoch in Luxemburg vorgestellten Untersuchung zum Zustand des Rechtsstaats auf Herausforderungen bei der Einstellung von Richtern. Foto: David-Wolfgang Ebener/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

After a fire in a department store on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, the trial against a 27-year-old has begun. The man is said to have set fire to several clothes stands and bedding during business hours in October last year. He injured a witness with a burning blanket.

The 27-year-old did not comment on the allegations on the first day of the trial on Wednesday at the Berlin district court. It is said that he was not or only partially responsible for the crime due to an illness.

The man is said to have lit goods with a lighter at several locations on the fourth floor of the Kaufhof department store. According to investigations, he held a newspaper that had previously been set on fire to three clothes racks with men’s clothing. He also set fire to bedding. The flames did not spread because employees in the branch were able to quickly extinguish the fires, according to the prosecutor.

The first witness, a 57-year-old sales representative, said he got a fire extinguisher after an employee called for help. The accused stood in front of him with a burning blanket. “He wanted to throw the blanket over me,” the witness said.

When he tried to snatch the blanket from the man, he suffered severe burns on his right hand. The alleged attacker seemed “calm and relaxed”.

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After the crime, the 27-year-old was provisionally housed in a forensic prison. After the man in the courtroom at the beginning of the trial was constantly disturbing him with heckling, the hearing continued after about an hour without him. The public prosecutor is aiming for his permanent placement in a psychiatric hospital.