Heroin trafficker guilty of involuntary homicide case to be reheard

The man had been found guilty in 2013 of supplying 20-year-old Theresa Agius with heroin that lead to her death back in 1999

Lawrence Attard has insisted that the first court wrongly interpreted the facts to find him guilty of supplying the drugs to Theresa Agius (above), who died from an overdose
Lawrence Attard has insisted that the first court wrongly interpreted the facts to find him guilty of supplying the drugs to Theresa Agius (above), who died from an overdose

The court of criminal appeal has nullified a sentence handed to Lawrence Attard in which he was found guilty of trafficking and possession of heroin as well as causing the death of Theresa Agius.

The case dates back to 1999, when Agius, then 20, died of an overdose from heroin purchased from Attard. Agius had been reported missing and her body was eventually found at sea. A friend of hers had told the police he had seen her overdose on heroin after a man injected her with drugs.

Attard, known as Wenzu l-Għawdxi, was found guilty in 2013 and sentenced to six years in jail and ordered to pay €10,000. 

After being found guilty Attard filed an appeal arguing that the court had interpreted the facts of the case wrongly, leading to it drawing the mistaken conclusion that he had been the one that sold the drugs to Agius. 

The application also refers to contradictions in the testimony of some of the witnesses and claims that the court had failed to take into account all of the circumstances of the day on which Agius had died.

Attard had also argued that there was nothing in Agius’ post-mortem examination that linked him to the heroin administered to Agius by her friend Joseph Azzopardi, known as iz-Zikizok.

Finally, the application also referred to the fact that the case was decided 14 years later due to delays on the part of the prosecution, adding that this had not been taken into account by the court in arriving at its decision. 

Judge Edwina Grima, presiding over the court of criminal appeal, observed that the first court had erroneously referred to the wrong part of the law in a number of instances. 

As a result, it said it was not in a position to confirm, change or revoke the sentence as requested. 

The case was annulled and ordered to be reheard.

Lawyer Edward Gatt appeard for Attard.

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