A man has been given a prison sentence after the Court found him guilty of drug trafficking, whilst not believing his father’s employee who had declared the drug was his, in order to exculpate the accused.
The case goes back to June 2002, when Charles Spiteri, who is today aged 57, had been stopped by the Police at Tal-Balal and found to be carrying 40 grams of cocaine, an amount of cash and items related to the sale of drugs in his van. Spiteri had denied the drugs belonged to him, and stated that the van was used by three other persons for work purposes.
The sentence on this case hand been handed down in 2014, but it had been declared null after an appeal was lodged, and the case was heard afresh in 2017.
Charles Sammut, who stated that he used to work with his brother and with Spiteri’s father doing plastering work, gave evidence in the new proceedings. Sammut stated that the drugs found in the van on that day had belonged to him, as he had a drug problem at the time. Sammut added that he did not want Spiteri to continue going through problems because of him.
The court, Magistrate Donatella Frendo Dimech presiding, did not believe the versions of the two men. Whilst declaring that Spiteri’s version was full of unanswered questions, it also stated that Sammut’s version was likewise not credible, as among other points, Sammut did not know in which parts of the van the Police had found the drugs which were supposed to be his.
The Court described Sammut’s evidence as a messa in scena and a pantomime, and remarked Sammut could have come forward and cleared his conscience at any time during the previous many years, and it could not understand how he had left it until this point.
Whilst sentencing Spiteri to 15months behindd bars and fining him 550 euro, the Court also ordered the Commissioner of Police to investigate Sammut in regard to false testimony.