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Suspect in attempted arson of Montreal synagogue not criminally responsible


MONTREAL — A 28-year-old man charged with trying to set fire to a Montreal synagogue has been found not criminally responsible.

Audrey Roy Cloutier, spokeswoman for the director of prosecutions, confirmed today that the court last week declared Adam Riga not criminally responsible after he underwent a psychiatric evaluation to determine if he was fit to be arraigned.

Riga was arrested Jan. 13, shortly after spray-painted swastikas were found on the doors of Shaar Hashomayim temple in Montreal.

Rabbi Adam Scheier had written a letter to members of the congregation saying the suspect was carrying a gas canister when he was arrested.

Riga had been charged with possession of incendiary materials and with threatening to burn down the synagogue.

The attack on the temple was widely condemned across the country, including by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Quebec Premier Francois Legault.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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