Judge dismisses bail breach case against alleged cocaine traffickers

Police had not yet investigated the allegations, court told

Criminal Court confirms bail for 3 men accused of cocaine trafficking
Criminal Court confirms bail for 3 men accused of cocaine trafficking

A judge has denied a request for the re-arrest of three alleged cocaine traffickers after noting that the police had not yet investigated allegations of breach of bail conditions.

Tyson Grech, 25, from Senglea, Hubert Gatt, 32 from Gzira and Jeremy Borg, 19, who has no fixed address, had been arraigned in May, accused of trafficking cocaine. Some 12g of the substance was allegedly found on their possession.

The court had granted the men bail upon their arraignment and the prosecution had filed an appeal against the decree releasing the men from arrest.

The Attorney General had argued that the men were charged with grave offences and there was a risk of them tampering with evidence. In addition, the men’s character and criminal record – they were being investigated over other reports against them and the fear of their escape militated against their release, argued the AG. Borg and Grech were accused of breaching court orders they were handed in other arraignments, the court was told.

Madam Justice Edwina Grima, presiding the Criminal Court, noted that when the trio were charged, the arraigning magistrate had said he was not satisfied that the arrest was a valid one, and had “strangely, still moved on to grant release from an arrest which had not been validated.”

The Court also observed that the accused had followed their bail conditions. Prosecuting inspector Jonathan Ransley expressed concern at the fact that the men were constantly changing their address, adding that he was still receiving reports about potential crimes being committed by the bailed accused, but said that he had not investigated these reports as yet.

It also noted that Gatt had appeared for the sitting even though he had not been formally notified, having been requested to appear by his lawyer.

For these reasons, the court rejected the requests made by the Attorney General for the men’s re arrest and instead confirmed their bail.

Lawyer Jason Grima appeared for Grech and Borg, while lawyer Ishmael Psaila appeared for Gatt.