The Malta Independent 23 April 2018, Monday

Heroin hidden in fridge: Jurors unanimously clear man of drug trafficking charges

Monday, 16 April 2018, 16:59 Last update: about 6 days ago

A jury has unanimously cleared Martin Dimech of drug trafficking.

Dimech, 57, from Zejtun, had been on trial following his indictment for trafficking in heroin, the possession of the drug with the intent to sell it and relapsing.

Five bags containing some 925 grammes of heroin, which had been hidden in the external compartments of two fridges at the accused's house, had been found by the police in 2009. The drug was 35% pure and had a street value estimated at €42,561, jurors were told.

ADVERTISEMENT

The police had been following Dimech’s movements for several months, after a tip-off, before moving in to arrest him.

But Dimech’s legal team, comprising lawyers Edward Gatt and Veronique Dalli had picked apart the prosecution’s case.

In his closing speech on Friday, Gatt had suggested that the prosecution was “worried” about its evidence. The fridges in which the drugs were allegedly found had never even been exhibited, he said, describing the prosecution’s case as speculative and “riddled with mistakes.”

Presiding Judge Antonio Mizzi had then summed up the evidence and arguments brought before the jury, before they retired to deliberate on a verdict.

This afternoon the jurors returned an emphatic verdict of 9 – 0 not guilty of all heads of indictment.

Lawyer Lara Lanfranco from the Office of the Attorney General prosecuted. Lawyers Veronique Dalli and Edward Gatt were defence counsel.

  • don't miss