Man who may have faced life sentence for cocaine trafficking, found not guilty
Edward Cardona, 36, was found not guilty of importing and trafficking cocaine in a trial which lasted one week and ended last night.
Cardona was accused of making a deal with a Nigerian man to buy 70 capsules and 20 grams of cocaine in December 2012, which were brought into Malta by a Nigerian woman who lives in Spain.
The jurors heard how the woman was caught carrying the drugs when she entered the Malta International Airport in July 2013 but that she had cooperated with the Police. It was in this way that the investigation led the Police to arrest a person of foreign nationality and to identify Cardona.
The woman, whose name cannot be published by a Court order, told the Police that she had brought drugs into Malta on other occasions, including six months prior to this. She had given the drugs to a man whom she described as tall, fat, and bald and whom she compared to Uncle Fester from the TV series The Adams Family.
She recognised Cardona from a photo from among that of six men she was shown. Although she did not recognise Cardona in the courtroom during the compilation of evidence, she recognised him during the trial.
The defence criticised the fact that the Police showed her Cardona’s photo before showing her all six photos at once, as well as the fact that there had been no police line-up. The defence also mentioned that the woman had not recognised Cardona in the Magistrates’ Court, and appealed to the jury not to consider the identification procedure.
At the end of the jury, Cardona was found not guilty of the charges of importing cocaine with 7 votes against 2, and not guilty of the charge of buying cocaine for the purposes of trafficking, with a unanimous vote.
The jury was presided over by Judge Giovanni Grixti. The prosecution was led by Dr Nadia Attard and Dr Anemarie Cutajar from the Attorney General’s office while Dr Franco Debono and Dr Amadeus Cachia appeared for the accused.
Trial begins against man suspected of involvement in a drug trafficking ring