After investigations, the Public Prosecution narrowed down the list of accused to three, all Asians, from the 12 suspects. The charge-sheet has been submitted to the court for an early date for the trial to begin.
Announcing this at a news conference here on Sunday, Sami Al Shamsi, Attorney-General gave details of the investigations into the major fire at Oasis Center in September, when the entire mall was reduced to ashes. Ahmad Eisa, Public Prosecutor, was also present at the Press conference.
Al Shamsi said that after thorough investigations, they had zeroed in onto the three suspects, two of whom are accused of directly being the cause of the fire. The job description of these two workers did not involve the use of flame torches, while the third, a supervisor, has also been accused of causing the fire.
All three have been accused of causing the fire by mistake which resulted in the gutting of the property.
Stating that the investigations stretched over 27 sessions in 11 days, he said the delay in preparing the charge-sheet was on account of the compilation of reports. "Such cases are important, difficult and depend heavily on various reports," Al Shamsi said.
Dismissing the reports of the municipality and the Civil Defence as "useless and of little value" in the preparation of the charge-sheet, Al Shamsi said they depended on the report of an expert assigned for the job. "The municipality had stated in it's report that the building couldn't be maintained and should hence be demolished," he said.
On the other hand, the expert's report explained the cause of the fire and how it spread, he said.
The fire began from the ceiling which was made of highly inflammable material which act as thermal and noise insulators.
When the fire reached the inflammable material, it spread to the entire building, and the metal frames from the roof began dropping on the shops below, making it difficult to contain the fire, he said, adding that two insurance companies will share equally the compensation claim.
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