Young woman caught with nine heroin packets asked to change statement after late night meeting

A young woman was arrested in Mgarr ix-Xini in June 2013 but the narrative was changed three months later

Lawyer Frank Testa (inset) has been appointed to lead inquiry
Lawyer Frank Testa (inset) has been appointed to lead inquiry

A young woman caught with packets of heroin asked to expunge her police statement in which she had implicated two young men in drug trafficking, MaltaToday has learnt, as more details have emerge after last Sunday’s shocking revelations.

The case goes back to a drug bust in Mgarr ix-Xini, Sannat, four years ago.

The young woman was apprehended by the CID Gozo squad after being caught red-handed with nine packets of heroin at a party in June 2013 - not in 2014 as originally reported on Sunday.

She was arrested together with another youth. In her original statement to the police, she admitted to being in possession of drugs but claimed that two other people, including the one who was apprehended with her, were in fact the traffickers. 

The narrative changed when in September one of the two young men, the one who was not apprehended at Mgarr ix-Xini, was caught in Marsalforn in the possession of cannabis. This led the Gozo police to revisit the investigation and looked at prosecuting two young males who come from well-known families in Gozo. 

At the end of October and beginning of November, the parents of the two young males were noted entering a government building at around 11pm. In the building they had a meeting with two senior politicians. They were seen leaving the building at around 1am.

As new details emerge, it is now clear that it was the woman who changed her statement and not the two men. Soon after the meeting between the men’s fathers and two politicians, the young female suspect apprehended at Mgarr ix-Xini asked to have her statement changed. In her new statement, she claimed that the young males were not involved in providing her with drugs.

She was later only charged with possession of drugs.

The news report that appeared on Sunday in MaltaToday led Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to announce the setting up of an inquiry.

Yesterday, government announced that lawyer Frank Testa will head the inquiry. Testa is a partner at TCV Advocates and specialises in civil, commercial and administrative law. According to his online bio, Testa is regarded as one of the country’s main points of reference in hospitality law, “where he has advised the government on the drafting of various pieces of legislation in the field.”

After earlier calling on the Prime Minister to appoint the inquiry without further delay, the PN reacted to Testa’s appointment by pointing out that the inquiry was not being led by a sitting member of the judiciary.

It also called for the publication of the board’s terms of reference and the names of the individuals sitting on the same board, assisting Testa in the inquiry.

On Sunday leader of the opposition Simon Busuttil said: “Is this right? People are arrested on drug charges, admit to doing so, and then after the intervention of two politicians nothing happens … We [the PN] are calling on the police commissioner [Lawrence Cutajar] to resign immediately. If you are not ready to investigate crimes, then you should leave today,” Busuttil told party faithful in Birkirkara.

During his speech, Busuttil launched a scathing attack on the police commissioner, describing him as a “puppet in the hands of the government”, claiming that he was only there to cover up for the prime minister and the government, and pledging that if elected as prime minister, he would sack Cutajar “without notice”.

Don't miss Xtra on TVM tomorrow, at 8.50pm, where Gozo Minister Anton Refalo will face Nationalist MP Chris Said