A Court messenger was found guilty of stealing a file on a drug trafficking case and placed on a probation period.
Two court employees, Edwin Vassallo and Joseph Bezzina were investigated by the Police after the disappearance of a file with evidence against a man accused of drug trafficking. The case occurred in April 2017.
It was established that the last persons who had access to the file were the two accused, each blaming the other on the theft. Bezzina had insisted that Vassallo had asked him to hide the file and lock it somewhere. He said that he panicked and lodged a report. On the other hand, Vassallo stated that Bezzina had asked him if he wished to earn some money by hiding the file, and was promised between £5,000 and £10,000. Both men were arraigned in Court separately, with Vassallo appearing before Magistrate Joe Mifsud.
After analysing the men’s statements, Magistrate Mifsud concluded that Vassallo’s version was the most credible. Vassallo was cleared of having destroyed evidence but guilty of stealing the file.
Magistrate Mifsud stressed that the case is a very serious one with far greater consequences that may have undermined the judicial process on drug trafficking.
He was found guilty of complicity and placed on a three-year probation, while the Court also ordered him to do 480 hours of community service.