A man who police originally suspected of being involved in the murder of an Ivorian migrant was charged on Sunday with drug trafficking and posseson of several illegal weapons, including a crossbow.

The man, whose identity cannot be revealed by court order, was charged before duty Magistrate Josette Demicoli.

He was arrested following a search at his home in connection with the murder of Lassana Cisse, who was shot on April 6 in Birżebbuġa.

While police did not find any evidence linking the accused to that case, the operation yielded results nonetheless, as the man was found in possession of significant amounts of cannabis and cocaine which were not for personal use.

Investigators also found a long list of firearms, including a pistol, an air rifle, bullets and various materials used to manufacture rounds including lead and gunpowder.

Lawyer Giannella de Marco, who was defence counsel, asked the court to ban publication of her client’s name. The prosecution did not object and the request was consequently accepted.

During submissions for bail the court heard that the defendant had cooperated fully during the investigation, and that there was no risk of tampering of evidence or of any civilian witnesses being approached.

Magistrate Demicoli granted him bail against a deposit of €3,500 and a guarantee of €15,000.

Police inspectors Kevin Pulis and Mario Xiberras prosecuted.