fingerprint of accused not found on bag seized by police
The fingerprints on a bag full of drugs seized by police seven years ago did not match those of a man accused of conspiring to smuggle drugs, a court said.
Toni Curmi, 39, was arrested after being transported two kilograms of cannabis by the Drug Squad following reports of suspected drug trafficking in his garage in Tarxien.
He was arrested in November 2014 alongside his alleged co-conspirator, Wayne Grima, who was seen leaving the scene on Triq Kelinu Cachia with a white paper bag, later seized by police in the passenger seat of his Peugeot 206.
This bag was later found to contain 1,912 grams of cannabis resin.
Fingerprint experts Jeffrey Hughes and Joseph Mallia told the court that eight fingerprints and palm prints had been removed from the paper bag and the transparent plastic tape bags containing the drugs.
None of the prints matched those of Toni Curmi.
Asked by defense attorney Mark Vassallo whether the fingerprints had been compared to those of the other suspect arrested in the drug raid, Mallia replied that he had not received any instructions in this regard.
“If I had been told, I would have done it. “
Market value of € 45,888
Scientific expert Godwin Sammut, responsible for analyzing the “brown blocks” found in the bag seized from Grima’s car, said the drug was cannabis resin, weighing 1,912 grams, with a purity of 7%. and a market value of € 45,888.
A scale and a spoon had both tested positive for cocaine.
Responding to questions from jurors, Sammut explained that the purity of the drug was well within the normal range in Malta at the time, which ranged between 5% and 18%.
As for value, Sammut said that for forensic purposes the varying purity of the drug is not taken into account when calculating its market value.
Asked by the defense whether the drug had been compared or matched to that found at the other suspect’s home, Sammut replied in the negative.
Earlier in the session, former Prosecution Inspector Herman Mula confirmed that two “very small pieces of cannabis resin clearly indicative of personal use” were found at Wayne Grima’s home.
Criminal proceedings against this second suspect, arrested during this raid on November 22 in Tarxien, are still ongoing.
During Wednesday afternoon’s session, mobile phone experts testified to their findings on three phones seized during the drug raid.
Two of the devices belonged to Curmi and the other to Grima.
None of them were smartphones, explained expert Martin Bajada who extracted data and drew up a call profile analysis from information related to a time window between October 21 and October 22. November 2014, one month before the arrests.
Bajada and the second forensic expert, Jonathan Mizzi, confirmed that the phone registered in Grima’s name contained 152 registered contacts, including “iż-Żibga”, “it-Topo”, “Melvin Gram”, “Melvin Ħaxixa”.
Defense attorney Mark Vassallo questioned Mula about these names appearing in Grima’s phone book.
“Do these names mean anything to you?”
Some of the names made “a bell ring”, said the former inspector of the drug squad, explaining that the people were closely linked to well-known criminal circles in the police.
At the end of the hearing, the prosecution declared that it had no more witnesses to produce.
Before the Wednesday afternoon session, Madam Judge Consuelo Scerri Herrera, conducted an on-site investigation at the accused’s garage in Tarxien, allowing the jurors to familiarize themselves with the crime scene.
Lawyers Edward Gatt, Mark Vassallo and Ishmael Psaila are the defense lawyers.
Lawyers Anthony Vella and Gabriel Shaun Azzopardi from the GA office are suing.
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