A mother was cleared of smuggling cannabis to her son in prison after a packet wrapped in transparent plastic was discovered inside the man’s rectum following a contact visit with relatives.
Miriam Borg, the 60-year-old mother from Ħamrun, had been targeted by criminal prosecution for alleged possession and trafficking of cannabis following a visit to the Corradino Correctional Facility in March 2013.
A strip search on the accused’s son, some minutes after his mother and other family members had left the premises, had yielded a small dark object, later certified as some 3.61 grams of cannabis resin.
The woman was summoned to the police headquarters where she was informed of the drugs discovered inside her son’s body and was told that he had claimed that she had been the one to smuggle them into prison.
Testifying in the course of the proceedings, the woman had recalled how at the time she would visit her son twice a week, submitting to checks on every occasion.
On that particular date, when visiting with her husband, daughter, father and sister-in-law, the search had been more intensive than usual on account of drug finds inside prison at the time.
When called by the police, the mother had been shocked at the news, even more so since she was not aware that her son took drugs.
However, fearing that other family members would be arrested, she had falsely admitted to the smuggling and released a statement after refusing legal assistance.
On the strength of established case-law, that statement was discarded as evidence against the accused.
Turning to other evidence put forward, the court, presided over by magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, observed that all family members visiting the inmate had been searched on that day and results were negative.
The prosecution had brought no convincing evidence to prove otherwise, the court said, adding that the general prison practice had been to search an inmate immediately after a contact visit.
Moreover, the accused’s son had walked unassisted from the visitors’ hall to the main gate to his division once the visit was over.
The court further questioned whether it would have been possible for the inmate to stuff the drug inside his body while in the presence of his family, without necessarily manouevring in such manner as would have likely roused the suspicion of the prison officials on guard.
In light of such circumstances, the court cleared the mother of all criminal liability.
Lawyer Robert Galea was defence counsel.
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