Song festival grounds alleged arsonist taken into custody

A PPA officer (photo is illustrative).
A PPA officer (photo is illustrative). Source: PPA

An arsonist who allegedly set fire to the main stage at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (Tallinna Lauluväljak) last week has been taken into custody.

"Harju County Court took a 27-year-old man into custody at the request of the prosecutor's office, initially for a period of two months," Marie Aava, spokesperson for the North District Prosecutor's Office, told BNS.

As reported on ERR News, first responders were called to the grounds at a little after 11.30 p.m. last Tuesday, after reports of a fire.

Security footage revealed the fire, which damaged seating areas and the wooden roof above, was started deliberately when a man set a garbage bin alight.

The individual who presented injured with burns was allegedly the same individual who started the blaze.

The man had told first responders on the scene that he had been trying to put out the blaze when he received burns which required hospitalization.

The suspect is charged with entering the festival grounds premises at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, September 29, and then deliberately starting the fire.

Song Festival Grounds manager Urmo Saareoja says a relatively small part of the boarding of the arched stage was damaged.

"However, this does not diminish the fact that the man arrived with the firm plan to destroy one of the symbolic objects of our nation," Saareoja said.

"This is an extraordinarily shameless act, which is further evidenced by the fact that the arsonist presented themselves as the one who had tried to extinguish the fire," he added, noting that the man's alleged activities, from trespassing on to the premises, to making his way to a location under the stage and then pouring an accelerant into the garbage can and then lighting the trash, through to injuring himself and the arrival of the emergency services, had all been recorded on security cameras.

The prosecutor's office requested the county court approve placing the man into custody, as per standard practise, which the court duly did.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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