Malta’s junior Reforms Minister Rosianne Cutajar has reacted to a court case that saw a Maltese youth imprisoned because he handed over six ecstasy pills eight years ago.
The youth, Jean Dalli, is the son of European Commissioner Helena Dalli. He was sentenced to three months in jail, though the timeframe for an appeal is still open, after he was seen giving a bag of pills to a friend in Paola in 2013.
Without going into the merits of the specific case, Cutajar noted that leaving an individual in a legal limbo for eight years can never be “just”.
“When a youth is left in legal limbo for eight years over an act that occurred when he was a teenager, it’s clear that we have a problem in the courts. And I know that just like him, there are many others who pass through this martyrdom – for me, this is a system we can never call just,” she said.
Cutajar called for “the determination and courage to change this system that has chained us for so long – and today before tomorrow”.
Today’s case has sent shockwaves throughout the justice system. Dalli’s case has laid bare how outdated Malta’s drug laws may be, especially when a magistrate is forced to send someone to prison on mandatory minimum sentences, even when the case was relatively minor, happened nearly a decade ago, and the individual had since had a chance to change his life around.
Dalli’s case is just the latest drug case to take forever to be heard in courts; just last year, Lovin Malta revealed how a Maltese youth has been left in legal limbo over a case that happened 11 years ago.