Man facing drug charges remanded in custody for breaching bail conditions

The man was caught driving around with 43g of cannabis past his curfew

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

A man currently facing drug charges and who is out on bail has been remanded in custody, after he was stopped by the police while he was driving around in violation of his curfew. The police found more drugs during the search.

Inspector Matthew Spagnol arraigned Libyan car wash employee Mohammed Ali Lahderi, 26, from San Gwann before magistrate Ian Farrugia this morning.

Lahderi had been arrested just past midnight on Thursday in San Gwann when police noticed what they described as a suspicious vehicle. The driver was recognized as being Ladheri who was on bail for drug trafficking charges.

A search of his vehicle returned a weighing scale and some sachets commonly used in the trafficking of drugs. 43g of cannabis were found in his possession.

Lahderi’s lawyer Rene Darmanin entered a not guilty plea and requested bail.

The accused was already on bail after a 2017 drugs bust, the court was told.

There were no civilian witnesses, said the lawyer. “We have a person who, although not a citizen, has been here for seven years and who was obeying bail conditions for two and a half years. His family lives in Malta he has a Maltese ID card and a fixed address.”

The accused was presumed innocent, he said, arguing that bail conditions should reflect the gravity of the crime “but we do not believe that he should be deprived of his liberty”.

The offence was not yet proven and furthermore, there were EU-level judgments that established the principle that bail is the rule and detention the exception, said the lawyer.

Inspector Spagnol, however, argued to the court that the accused had been arrested in a situation where he was committing a crime and was not trustworthy.

Magistrate Farrugia agreed and denied bail.