The Malta Independent 8 December 2022, Thursday
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Libyan man arraigned after police intercept sale of cannabis in Paceville

Helena Grech Tuesday, 26 September 2017, 16:15 Last update: about 6 years ago

A 27-year-old Libyan man, who is currently benefiting from subsidiary protection status, today was granted bail on charges of trying to sell cannabis to an Italian couple in Paceville this morning.

Magistrate Consuelo Scerri Herrera, presiding over the case, granted Ahmed Al Allagi bail against a deposit of €1,000. It is understood that the accused was remanded into custody regardless, because he did not have the funds to pay the deposit.

An exasperated police inspector could be heard telling the court that several Libyan and Somali nationals seeking asylum involve themselves in the local drugs trade, adding that local authorities are simply fighting a losing battle.

The accused, who resides in a shared accommodation in Msida, was arrested early this morning in St Augustine Street, St Julian’s, after police spotted him trying to sell cannabis to an Italian couple.

The couple, who are leaving Malta this Friday, testified during this morning’s arraignment, where they both said that the accused had stopped them and asked them if they wanted any cannabis.

The woman claimed to have never tried marijuana before, and was keen on trying it for the first time. She testified that after the accused stopped them and they showed interest, he pulled out a sachet of cannabis from his shoe, and handed it over to her. She said that while it was in her hand, and before any payment could be made, the police moved in.

The woman added that she paid the police officer the €50 fine to him on for the simple possession of marijuana on the spot, there and then.

Her boyfriend corroborated her version of events through separate testimony. He said that the couple had been in their hotel room and decided to go for a walk around Paceville, when they were stopped by the accused. He also said that they were stopped by the accused, showed interest, and that while his girlfriend was holding the marijuana and they were negotiating a price, the police moved in. He claimed that the accused asked for €20 for the cannabis.

The accused, assisted by legal aid Patrick Valentino, pleaded not guilty to the charges of selling/trafficking cannabis in an area frequented by youths. A request for bail was requested, which was objected on various grounds by prosecuting inspector Trevor Micallef.

Bail was granted under a €1,000 deposit and a €2,000 personal guarantee.

 

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