A man who learnt that his wife was cheating on him was driven to arson to take revenge, a court heard on Wednesday. 

The accused, who cannot be named by court order, is charged with having set a van on fire in Birkirkara on January 13. 

Police traced that crime to the accused after spotting his distinctive van at the scene of the crime, a court heard.

When confronted, he allegedly told the police that his wife had been cheating on him with the arson victim. He had thought it over and decided to settle the matter by burning his vehicle. 

The accused, who is self-employed from Fgura, pleaded not guilty to charges and requested bail. Inspector Jeffrey Scicluna noted that the man had cooperated fully and released a statement in the presence of a lawyer. He said the prosection did not object to bail, provided that the court issued the necessary safeguards. 

The victim had at no point suspected that the accused was the man responsible for the arson and had no clue who was responsible. 

One of the accused’s lawyers, Franco Debono, stressed that testimony had been preserved and the victim was ready to abide by all court-imposed conditions.

Magistrate Nadine Lia upheld the bail request and ordered the accused not to approach the victim. He must also sign a bail book twice weekly, obey an 11pm to 6am curfew, pay a €1,000 personal deposit and €4,000 personal guarantee. 

Lawyer Lennox Vella appeared on the victim's behalf.

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