Eight persons freed of accusations of drugs trafficking – Court blames governments
Eight persons have been released from accusations of drug trafficking in a case that goes back 17 years. The Court put the blame on governments because over the years they had refused to legalise the right of the presence of a lawyer during interrogation. The eight people concerned were arrested in November of 2002 as forming part of a group of 19 persons allegedly part of a circle of drug traffickers being managed by persons already imprisoned for drug trafficking.
In 2001 the Police received information regarding a plan that had been conceived in prison for their contacts outside, for the importation of large consignments of drugs. A joint operation between Maltese and Italian Police disrupted the plan.
After analysing the evidence, Magistrate Francesco Depasquale concluded that prison sentences could not be delivered because a lot of the evidence, including that of Police, was given without the presence of a lawyer and this had to be declared as being non-valid because of subsequent legal developments.