A man found with what is believed to be cocaine, heroin and crack in his car has been arrested and denied bail – and his lawyers are now accusing the court of unfair treatment because he was stopped near a youth-frequented place.
Douglas Briffa was arrested on 20th September in Bormla after police noticed a driver acting suspiciously. Briffa and his girlfriend were then arrested after 16 sachets of suspected cocaine, heroin and crack were discovered in the car.
Briffa’s lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. The charges were aggravated because Briffa and his girlfriend were stopped within 100m of a playground.
However, Debono flagged this detail, arguing that it was unfair that the charges were aggravated just because Briffa was stopped by police between two playgrounds.
Had he not been stopped where he did, Briffa could have been facing a lesser court, the drugs tribunal.
The lawyer warned that the aggravation of charge was not therefore “not a random thing” and if no action is taking then it could be a “lottery” situation for those caught with drugs.
Bail was not granted on the grounds that Briffa had breached bail, had a criminal record, convictions and witnesses had yet to testify.
What do you make of this argument?