Israeli Suspect in Chile Fire Won't be Prosecuted

Chile will not prosecute Rotem Singer, an Israeli hiker suspected of igniting a massive forest fire last month in a national forest.

Chana Ya'ar ,

Torres del Paine National Park
Torres del Paine National Park
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons/re-ality / Steffen

Chile's prosecutor has decided not to jail Rotem Singer, the Israeli hiker who was arrested for allegedly causing a fire last month in Chile's National Torres del Paine Park,with arson, a Chilean news site reports.

The country's chief prosecutor has agreed to a deal in which Zinger will pay a $10,000 fine and will enlist the aid of an Israeli NGO to rehabilitate the 100,000 acres of the park that were burned.

Singer, 23, will be required to work for two years in a nature reserve, managed by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) as part of his probation, according to the local Tara newspaper report published Wednesday.

“We are very happy,” Singer's mother said. “We don't yet know when we will be able to return to Israel. His father is still with him there,” she told IDF Army Radio.

One man lost his life in the fire and more than 500 other local residents were evacuated from their homes.

Singer has maintained that he did not cause the blaze and that authorities may have either tried to extract from a confession he did not intend to give, or that testimony he allegedly gave may have been an inaccurate translation of what he did say. “I went through a field trial within a few hours and it was very unpleasant,” he said.