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Baku Court Sentences Arsonist To Life Over Deadly Drug Rehab Clinic Fire

The fire at a state-run drug rehabilitation clinic killed dozens of people in March 2018.

BAKU -- A court in Azerbaijan has sentenced an arsonist to life in prison for starting a fire at a state-run drug rehabilitation clinic that killed 25 people in March 2018.

The Baku Court for Serious Crimes on May 15 convicted and sentenced Mahammad Mammadov on the charges of intentionally starting the fire.

The 65-year-old Mammadov was a patient at the center and was being treated for alcoholism.

The court found that Mammadov started the fire in an attempt to commit suicide, but survived.

However, the fire quickly spread through the building while other patients were locked in their sleeping quarters.

Two former officials of the center were found guilty of negligence and violating fire safety regulations. They were sentenced to prison terms of three-and-a-half years and four years.

A third former official received a suspended sentence.

The fire gutted a single-story wooden building at the Republican Narcological Dispensary in Baku's Xatay district, where medicated patients had been locked inside for the night.