It’s not guilty for the man accused of deliberately setting one of the most damaging fires in the history of downtown Barrie, Ont.

That verdict for former restaurant owner Giovanni Cartolano was delivered by a judge this afternoon, June 14, 2013 – more than five years after the Five Points fire.

The verdict came down to the credibility of one of the crown’s key witnesses, and today Justice Michael Brown ruled there was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Cartolano deliberately set his restaurant on fire in 2007.

Brown says he could not trust the testimony of Cartolano’s former fiancé, calling it ever-changing and unreliable.

In his ruling, Brown said “it’s not enough for me to believe that Mr. Cartolano is probably or likely guilty. Proof or probability or likely guilt is not proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Vanly Keov's restaurant, the Royal Thai, was next door to the Riviera.

“It’s really shocking and I'm so disappointed,” he says. “We don't know if someone is going to ever be held responsible.”

Outside the courthouse, Cartolano’s family cheered at the verdict.

He was charged with arson, accused of deliberately setting a fire in the basement of his Riviera restaurant in December 2007. The fire engulfed several buildings in the Five Points area, causing more than $6 million in damage.

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Updated from the version below.

The man accused of arson in the devastating fire at Barrie's Five Points is not guilty.

Justice Michael Brown just handed down the verdict in Barrie court this afternoon, prompting tears and a smile from accused Giovanni Cartolano.

Cartolano is the former owner of the Riviera Restaurant. He has been on trial over the past year, charged with arson in a fire that burned several businesses downtown, including the historic Wellington Hotel.

Several downtown residents lost property and pets in the fire. In his reasons for judgement released today, June 14, 2013, Brown says, “It was a miracle there was no loss of human life or serious bodily injury to any person as a result.”

Last month, Cartolano was convicted of two counts of fraud in Toronto court.

CTV Barrie will have more here and on the News at 6 p.m.

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Updated from the version below.

A verdict is expected this afternoon in the December 2007 fire that destroyed a building at Barrie’s historic Five Points downtown intersection.

The former Riviera Restaurant owner, Giovanni Cartolano, was charged with arson.   He plead not guilty.

During the lengthy trial, the fire marshall's office testified the fire began in the Riviera's basement and was set deliberately. 

The defense argued it started in a neighbouring restaurant.

If convicted Cartolano could face jail time. 

CTV News will be in court to find out what happens.