Carmel Spiteri has been sentenced to nine months in prison and fined €1,500 after he was convicted of trafficking charges, aggravated possession and recidivism… for an incident that happened 22 years ago.
Spiteri was arrested in 1997 on suspicion of drug trafficking after a couple were stopped on Regional Road with cocaine on them after they left Spiteri’s home. Police proceeded to search Spiteri’s house where they found €6,000 in cash, €480 in cheques, foreign money and a gold cross.
During their search, police also found 50 grams of cocaine in a can which was hidden in a bush on the parapet.
More surprising than anything is how this local case took almost a quarter of a century to reach a conclusion and shows just how ineffective our judicial system can really be.
Granted, there was the issue of a fire that broke out in the Chambers in 2004, resulting in many court files being destroyed, but this happened seven years after Spiteri was arrested, which is already a long enough time for Court to settle a case.
The case finally got assigned in 2013, nine years after the fire, and took another six years for Spiteri to be sentenced.
Now, after having spent 22 years of his life dealing with this incident, Spiteri will have to spend another nine months in prison to pay for his crime back in 1997.
At the end of the day, justice has to be served to those who break the law – but a nine-month sentence after a 22-year ordeal seems unnecessary and the Courts have come under some scrutiny for their inefficiency…
After waiting so long, it is the Courts who have done committed the greater injustice in this case.