A woman who was subjected to questionable treatment at the hands of the police has lost a court case over being treated cruelly and inhumanely.
The case, which took over four years to be completed, saw Jennifer Koster have her dates adjourned no less than 17 times before a court decision was finally given, leading to questions over possible court delays in her hearing.
Koster, who was born in the Dominican Republic and is a Dutch national, had been made to ingest laxatives and excrete in front of a female police officer before being told she must dig through her own excrement to prove there were no drugs in her stomach, as police suspected, back in 2015, the Times of Malta reported.
No drugs were found in her stomach.
The egregious case was presided over by Justice Joseph Micallef in the First Hall of the Civil Court in its constitutional jurisdiction.
However, in his judgement, Micallef said that though she was kept under arrest for 16 hours, she was not detained for more than 48 hours, which is the legal limit. He also said the police had a good enough reason to keep her under constant watch, and while she might have felt embarrassed to be searched in her intimate areas by a doctor of a different gender, it did not constitute inhumane treatment.
Her arrest warrant was authorised by a magistrate who said there was “reasonable suspicion” that her boyfriend was a drug trafficker.
She was detained after arriving in Malta to meet her boyfriend Charlie Zammit, who the police suspected of being a drug dealer.
However, when police apprehended her and accused her of being a drug mule, she told them she wasn’t carrying any drugs. She cooperated with the police as they took her into custody.
She was given an X-ray at Mater Dei where a radiographer said that he was unable to exclude whether Koster had any foreign objects in her stomach. She was then told to take laxatives.
Speaking to Lovin Malta, a legal expert said the delay for her to be sentenced was “outrageous”.
“It is very unjust that the courts are often mentioned for how long they take, and while most judges are efficient, some of them, like in this case, give everyone a bad name,” they said.
Koster had previously said she felt like she was “treated like a dog” when under police custody.
Cover photo: Times of Malta