A fisherman who was arrested in October when 20kg of cannabis were found on a fishing boat in Marsaxlokk, was granted bail on Wednesday.
Wayne Schembri, 28, was arraigned alongside two other suspects, 38-year old Glen Montesin and 19-year old Zach Woodhead. All pleaded not guilty to criminal conspiracy, importation and aggravated possession of cannabis grass.
The trio had been spotted by a police surveillance team unloading cardboard boxes from the boat onto a van parked nearby.
Five boxes containing some 20kg of cannabis grass were subsequently seized in the police raid.
All three suspects pleaded not guilty when arraigned two days after the arrests.
Montesin was granted bail on January 4 against a €10,000 deposit and €20,000 personal guarantee and ordered to respect a curfew and sign a bail book daily.
Woodhead was granted bail on January 12 against a deposit of €10,000, a personal guarantee of €25,000, an order to sign the bail book daily and to abide by a curfew between 9pm and 6am.
Schembri did not request bail at the arraignment stage.
As proceedings continued before the court of criminal inquiry, presided over by magistrate Neville Camilleri, and after a number of police officers had testified, Schembri’s lawyers filed an application for bail, arguing that the gravity of the offences was not enough to deny an accused his personal freedom.
Moreover, the law itself provided for police bail which may be granted while police investigations continue, argued the lawyers, also highlighting the fact that Schembri had a clean criminal record.
After considering submissions by both parties, the court granted bail against a deposit of €10,000, a personal guarantee of €25,000, an order to sign the bail book daily and to abide by a curfew between 9pm and 6am.
The case continues.
Inspector Alfredo Mangion is prosecuting.
Lawyers Mario Mifsud, Matthew Xuereb and Alex Scerri Herrera are assisting Schembri.
Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia represented Montesin.
Lawyer Veronica Anne Spiteri represented Woodhead.
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