From Iceland — Prosecutors Demand Accused Arsonist Be Sentenced For Life

Prosecutors Demand Accused Arsonist Be Sentenced For Life

Published May 5, 2021

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Prosecutors are demanding that Marek Moszczynski, who is alleged to have set fire to a house on Bræðraborgarstígur last summer, be sentenced to life in prison.

He has been charged with three murders and ten attempted murders, among other things.

If the court finds him innocent, he would still be placed in a security psychiatric ward after psychiatrists who assessed his mental condition considered him to be unstable.

A first for Iceland

In Iceland, the sentence in prison for murder is usually 16 years and the heaviest conviction in history was 20 years in prison.

Today is the last day of the main proceedings in the case against Marek Moszczynski, but he pleaded not guilty on Monday last week when proceedings began.

Since then, about thirty people have testified, including others who lived in the house, neighbours, police and psychiatrists.

A tough case

The last witness testified in court this morning. It was a police officer who reported that the police had viewed video recordings from petrol stations in the capital area after the fire on Bræðraborgarstígur. Marek is not believed to be seen on the recordings.

However, videos were also played from security cameras and police body cameras showing Marek’s peculiar behaviour following the fire and when he was arrested outside the Russian embassy.

Damning evidence?

Kolbrún Benediktsdóttir, the district prosecutor, said in her presentation this morning that there was no doubt that there was an arson and that it was clear where the fire locations were.

“Negligence is ruled out because there are two recording locations and a few meters between them. A fire in one of the filming locations cannot explain the fire in the other,” she said.

She said that the testimony of witnesses and the timeline of events indicated that Marek was at work and that Stefán Karl Kristjánsson, Marek’s lawyer, seemed to focus on the Icelandic couple on the ground floor of the house, primarily because they had been under the influence of drugs.

It should also be mentioned that seventeen people have demanded compensation for the case, including compensation for funeral expenses and medical expenses.

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