Israeli reaches Chile plea deal to plant trees

AP News
Posted: Feb 09, 2012 7:44 PM
Israeli reaches Chile plea deal to plant trees

Chile has settled its criminal case against an Israeli hiker accused of negligently causing a fire that destroyed much of the Torres del Paine national park.

Under Chile's obsolete Forests Law, pyromaniacs or negligent tourists can be fined no more than $300 for setting fires in national parks.

So instead of seeking a conviction, prosecutors worked out a deal with Israeli hiker Rotem Singer designed to restore much of the area destroyed after he allegedly set fire to toilet paper and it burned out of control.

The 23-year-old Singer has agreed to pay $10,000 and raise other money for an environmental group that will buy 50,000 native trees that will be used to replant the park by Chile's national forestry agency.