Man caught with pistol at Malta International Airport given suspended sentence

A 60-year-old man caught with a firearm at the airport pleaded guilty but insisted he was not aware it was illegal to carry a gun in Malta

The man was arrested at the airport for being in possession of a firearm
The man was arrested at the airport for being in possession of a firearm

Michel Claude Nussbaum, 60, was arrested at Malta International Airport after being caught with a firearm, which he brought over from Spain.

The Frenchman told police he encountered no legal problems in Spain and was not aware of the legal ramifications of carrying a firearm in Malta.

The incident happened on 18 September when the police found the gun in his luggage with no documentation. Nussbaum is believed to have been returning back home to France where his son was in hospital.

Nussbaum was charged in court on Friday afternoon and pleaded guilty to the charges.

Defence counsel Emanuel Bianco argued that “this was a genuine mistake and there was no intention of wrongdoing involved”.

Duty Magistrate Josette Demicoli said that “ignorance of the law was no excuse,” and sentenced Nussbaum to six months in prison suspended for 18 months.

The defendant was allowed to leave Malta.

Principal immigration officer Inspector Lara Butters prosecuted.

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