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Two men charged in church fire case

Two men have been charged in fire of the 850-year-old church in Skien, Norway. Inside the church, the men had written the word ‘Satan’ on the wall.

Two men charged after the fire of Gjerpen church Wednesday, have prior records. One of the suspects was released from jail as late as October 2.

“The younger of the two has been charged with violence, duress, and harassments and all the information about him indicate that he has connections with the satanic environment,” said Knut Kolloen, police lawyer at Telemark police district to TV 2 Nettavisen.

Inside the church, the word ‘Satan’ was written on the wall.

More than ten sentences

“The 27-year-old has been sentenced more than ten times earlier, mainly for property crime,” Kolloen said.

According to information provided TV 2 Nettavisen the man was released October 2 this year after serving an 11 month long sentence for property crime.

Vetting correspondence and visits

Police will at the arraignment hearing at noon Friday, demand that the two men remand in custody for four weeks, with the two first weeks with correspondence and visits vetted.

According to the police, they do not suspect that there were more people involved in the break-in and the fire-raising Wednesday night.

The men have admitted to breaking into the church, but they deny involvement in the fire, according to the local paper Telemarksavisa. The arrests were made after receiving for tips from witnesses who had seen the men leave the area.

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