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Australian convicted of starting deadly wildfire
Australian man convicted of starting fire that killed 10 people, destroyed 156 homes in 2009
By The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) ' A man has been convicted of deliberately starting one of the deadly wildfires that swept through southern Australia three years ago.

A Victoria Supreme Court jury on Tuesday found Brendan Sokaluk guilty of 10 counts of arson causing death for starting a blaze that killed 10 people and destroyed 156 homes. It was among hundreds of fires in Victoria state that killed 173 people and destroyed more than 2,000 homes in February 2009.

Sokaluk did not react as the verdict was read. Each count carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Sokaluk deliberately lit the fire at two points. Sokaluk told police he accidentally started the fire after throwing a piece of paper wrapped around cigarette ash out his car window.

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