Drug trafficker appeals 'discriminatory' sentence

38-year-old Duncan Scerri files appeal after court “unfairly” sentences him to nine years in prison, and partner-in-crime for eight years.

A convicted drug trafficker, who was imprisoned for nine years for his role in the drug find of €75,000 worth of cocaine, has today filed an appeal, claiming that he was “discriminated against by the court.”

The applicant, Duncan Scerri, 38, of Salina, was jailed for nine years and fined €25,000 after admitting to trafficking cocaine and heroin. His partner in crime, 35-year-old Tunisian Walid Laouini, was sentenced to eight years in prison and fined €20,000, a sentence that according to Scerri is “discriminatory.”

In his application filed by lawyer Edward Gatt, Scerri is claiming that his sole job was to transport drugs from Ghajn Tuffieha to the Luxol Grounds and insisted that, unlike his Tunisian partner, he had nothing to do with the trafficking and sale of drugs.

While insisting that he lodged an appeal on the basis of the court’s alleged discriminatory sentencing – and not its decision to find him guilty – Scerri argued that Walid Laouni was the mastermind, and that the Tunisian was the only one involved in the profits and details of the drug trafficking.

Moreover, he is arguing that the court’s decision had unfairly treated him differently than his partner in crime. He held that the decree diminishes the people’s trust, and that it left everyone surprised, including the police.

Scerri and Laouni were initially charged back in 2007, but had pleaded not guilty. The two were subsequently placed under a bill of indictment, and later admitted to the charges rather than stand trial by jury.

The find occurred on April 27, 2007, when police had seized close to a kilo of cocaine from the two men after searching their vehicle, a Daewoo Matiz, at the Luxol Grounds.

Police officials from the Drug Squad had approached the car at around 6:30 pm, when one of the accused, later identified as being Laouini, tried to escape but was quickly apprehended by police.

In the vehicle police discovered 96 capsules of cocaine, weighing around 914 grams and valued at around €70,000. They were discovered to be 57.3% pure. Police had later discovered that the men were also in possession of 45 grams of heroin, cannabis resin and 14 cannabis seeds.