A Maltese man fighting extradition to Italy on Tuesday vented his frustration at not being allowed out of prison, accusing the prosecution of conspiring against him.
Paul Attard is wanted in Italy to face charges in connection with a 10-tonne shipment of cannabis resin intercepted by Italian authorities in 2018. He has been held in prison since late last year, as he fights multiple court battles against that extradition and his continued detention.
“So those who commit murder are granted bail twice and three times, while I who have done nothing wrong am kept for months in jail!” Attard yelled as he was about to be led out. “You’ve destroyed me. It’s a conspiracy,” he exclaimed.
The 43-year-old shipper lost his cool at the end of a brief court hearing in which a magistrate refused his request to be released from prison immediately on habeas corpus – unlawful imprisonment – grounds.
An inconsolable Attard sobbed as two prison officials tried to console him and urged him not to make things worse. Female relatives of his also intervened, trying to calm him down.
“I have done nothing wrong. You’ve broken me and my family. It’s because you don’t have a family….” he went on.
Attard was eventually escorted out of court as his lawyer, Jose Herrera, tried to reason with him. His angry, frustrated voice could be heard echoing through the corridors of the Valletta law courts.
Tuesday's decree means Attard will remain in prison while two constitutional challenges that he has filed against Italy's extradition request are heard.