A 28-year-old Somali was today jailed for nine months and fined €700 for trying to give 'weed' to Danish tourists - even though it eventually turned out that the substance was not cannabis.
Quoting case law, Magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras said that the fact that the substance was not actually cannabis was irrelevant.
What mattered was that the accused – Noor Ali Muse – pitched it as “weed” to the group of five Danish young men.
The magistrate heard how, on October 11 last year, police officers from the Rapid Intervention Unit were informed that drugs were being trafficked at the Gzira public garden. Police went there and saw the Danes speak to the accused.
The Danish men told police that Mr Muse had offered to give them weed. Money was not mentioned.
All those present were searched but no drugs were found. The police then found a small piece of cling film on a nearby tree. Inside was a substance that looked like cannabis.
However, forensic expert Godwin Scerri examined the substance and concluded it was neither cannabis nor an illegal substance.
Meanwhile, Mr Muse denied ever offering “weed” to the tourists and – speaking through an interpreter – insisted he barely spoke English.
However, police officers involved in the investigation said Mr Muse had spoken to them in English and knew basic words.
The magistrate concluded that “weed” was a basic word and found that the version of the Danes was more credible and consistent.
She found Mr Muse guilty of trafficking in cannabis in an area frequented by young people.
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