okafire20041301

Former grand chief James Gabriel's house was torched in January 2004. ((CBC))

There was a surprise ending Thursday to the long-running police investigation into who set fire to the home of the former grand chief of the Kanesatake Mohawk community, near Oka, in January 2004.

Appearing in court in Montreal on an unrelated armed assault charge, Joseph Dayepleaded guiltyto arson in connection with a fire atJames Gabriel's house during a riotat Kanesatake.

The riot started after the community police station was surrounded.Gabriel's house was torchedafter he assembled a force of aboriginal police to fight organized crime in the community.

Seven Mohawk men were jailed last January for taking part in the riot and for forcible confinement. Some got terms of up to 15 months. Six others were fined.

Daye will be sentenced Dec. 21 for setting the fire. His lawyer said he will ask for a sentence of less than two years to be served in the community.