One of 550kg cannabis trio granted bail

Rudolph Said has been detained, together with two others, after police found 530 kilogrammes of cannabis resin and 20 kilogrammes of cannabis bud

A Maltese man, one of three persons arrested last October, in connection with a discovery of 550kg of cannabis in Italian-registered trucks, has been released on bail.

Rudolph Said had been detained, together with 60-year-old Angelo Penna and 42-year-old Cristofaro Paratore, both from Catania, after police discovered 530 kilogrammes of cannabis resin and 20 kilogrammes of cannabis buds, together with €200,000 in cash, concealed inside two Italian-registered trucks and a Malta-registered car. Police estimated the value of the haul to be in the millions of euros.

The men pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody.

However as investigations progressed, Said became a candidate for bail.

Said’s lawyers requested bail in October, arguing that all police witnesses testified and that the arrested man had strong family ties to Malta, demonstrated by the presence of several members of his family inside the courtroom.

Lawyer Franco Debono argued that there was a need to balance the interests of justice against the rights of the arrested person.

Lawyer Roberto Montalto added further that even on the basis of what had been revealed so far, it was clear that Said had entered a car in which someone else had placed a bag behind the passenger seat.

Magistrate Neville Camilleri granted the man bail secured by a deposit of €7,000, a personal guarantee of €20,000, as well as requiring Said to sign a bail book three times a week.

Penna and Paratore remain in custody.

Inspector Kevin Pulis is prosecuting.

Lawyers Roberto Montalto, Franco Debono and Mario Mifsud assisted Said.

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