“I set fire to the mountain”: Messages lead to the arrest of the alleged arsonist in Palermo

The confession of having set “fire to the mountain” in the Capo Gallo reserve also appears on WhatsApp chats. This emerges from the investigation that led to the arrest of Francesco Ficano, 26 years old, believed to be the author of that devastating fire that on July 24 last year destroyed over a hundred properties, including homes and businesses, and practically all the trees in the reserve. The mother of the alleged arsonist knew everything and even tried to damage the phone before the police could seize it: “There are a lot of things in those chats… where he says I burned the mountain.”

For the carabinieri, who conducted the investigation, this would be further evidence of Ficano’s guilt, who was recently arrested on charges of negligent forest fire and negligent environmental disaster (he was already in prison for mistreatment of his partner and 3-year-old son). The young man initially denied his involvement, then in prison he was overheard talking to his cousin, admitting to being responsible. Even though he continued claiming it was an accident, for flicking a cigarette butt among the brush. Investigators do not believe this theory, convinced instead that Ficano had planned the fire, going to the streets where it originated.

Now interceptions of the mother of the alleged arsonist have also emerged, adding a new piece to the military’s reconstruction. The woman confides in one of the young man’s friends that she is sure there were incriminating messages on her son’s phone. “To act stupidly, he would boast of having burnt the mountain – says Ficano’s mother -. There are a lot of things in the messages, in the things… And he even told me and I told him: you’re crazy saying these things… You’re crazy! You’ll get arrested for these things, for these lies, you’re mentally ill. There are a lot of interceptions for sure.”

It also emerges that the carabinieri are looking for an eyewitness who may have seen who started the fire in Capo Gallo. One of Ficano’s closest friends mentioned the presence of a witness who provided specific and therefore credible circumstances. In particular, this friend of the suspect reportedly said that “an elderly lady” in a medium-sized light blue car immediately after the fire shouted, “It was a boy on a scooter, it was a boy on a scooter!!”. However, investigators have not yet been able to locate and interview this woman. According to the investigating judge, Andrea Innocenti, the same informant could also be used as a “de relato” witness, as he provided information for the direct identification of the witness.

«Ho dato fuoco alla montagna»: i messaggi inchiodano Ficano il presunto incendiario di Palermo

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