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Police patrol catches man selling drugs on the street

A man has been arraigned under arrest on charges of selling cannabis after being caught in the act by a passing police patrol

Matthew Agius
13 September 2017, 3:00pm
'Being caught with 6 grams of grass doesn’t merit being denied bail', said lawyer Patrick Valentino
'Being caught with 6 grams of grass doesn’t merit being denied bail', said lawyer Patrick Valentino
Inspector Trevor Micallef arraigned Abdi Ali Jama, a 29 year-old Somali national, residing at the Hal Far Open Centre before duty magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras this morning. Jama was charged with selling the drug within 100m of a place where young people gathered and possession of it, in circumstances which denoted that it was not intended for his personal use.

He was also charged with failing to inform police that he had found an item of lost property, although no details about the latter charge emerged during his arraignment.

Jama had caught the eye of a police patrol which had observed him apparently trying to sell something to another person and decided to take a closer look. The inspector explained to the court that as officers approached the accused, he was seen to throw something, later found to be cannabis resin, away. Jama was then arrested.

Lawyer Patrick Valentino, who was appointed legal aid, entered a plea of not guilty and requested bail. The request was objected to by the prosecution due to the fact that a witness was yet to testify and because the accused was not living at the Birzebbugia address specified on his ID card, but in the Hal Far Open Centre.

Valentino insisted that the man had only been arrested with 6.09g of the drug. “The witness can be catered for by ordering the accused not to approach or speak to him. He can even be precluded from approaching the witness’ home town.

“Being caught with 6 grams of grass doesn’t merit being denied bail, simply because the prosecution has a witness that might be spoken to,” submitted the lawyer.

Inspector Micallef pointed out that the charges also included trafficking.

The court denied bail, saying it was not satisfied that the accused offered the guarantees required by law. Jama was remanded in custody.

Court reporter Matthew Agius is a Legal Procurator and Commissioner for Oaths. Prior to re...