Couple charged with drug trafficking after police find cocaine on top of wardrobe

A couple are facing drug trafficking charges after some 700g of cocaine was found on top of a wardrobe in their home

A couple are facing drug trafficking charges after some 700g of cocaine was found on top of a wardrobe in their home.

Morat Naswan 30, and Judith Bakoush, aged 29 were arraigned separately and pleaded not guilty to charges of supplying and aggravated possession of cocaine, possession of cannabis and breaching previous court orders.

Police acting on confidential information had searched the couple’s Valletta home where the drugs were found on 27 October.

Bakoush and Naswan, represented by lawyers Franco Debono and Marion Camilleri, requested bail.

Inspector Mark Anthony Mercieca, prosecuting together with Inspector Steven Ryan Micallef, objected to the request, telling magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras that all the man’s previous brushes with the law dealt with drugs.

Police had searched a property and found the cocaine, defence lawyer Debono said. “There were two people in this property and it is yet to be determined who had control of the substance.”

“It is not easy,” Debono said, “and at this stage, the presumption of innocence should apply. In this case we are requesting bail,” he said, adding that criminal responsibility would have to be established at a later stage.

Inspector Mercieca explained that testimony which will be heard will tie the accused to the substances. “I am objecting to bail on the ground of the accused’s lack of ties to Malta and also his breach of previous bail as well as the gravity of the charges. His criminal record is being exhibited and can be seen to be ‘quite colourful,’” said the inspector.

Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, after taking into account the gravity of the nature of the charges denied bail at this stage, saying she was not satisfied that the accused could offer the necessary guarantees.

The court also ordered the freezing of the accused’s assets, as per standard procedure in drug trafficking cases.

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