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Accused of smuggling heroin into prison

The wife and brother of Alfred Bugeja, known as Il-Porporina, were yesterday charged with involvement in trafficking in heroin when they allegedly smuggled the drug into jail by hiding it in a pair of shoes.

Police Superintendent Neil Harrison, prosecuting, told Magistrate Lawrence Quintano how, in June 2002, Christian Bugeja went to prison to visit his brother.

Mr Bugeja took a pair of shoes to give to his brother. Officers at the prison checked the shoes and, although initially they did not notice anything suspicious, a closer examination revealed that heroin was hidden inside the footwear.

Police officers spoke to Mr Bugeja who said his brother' wife, Helen, had given him the shoes to take to his brother in prison. Mrs Bugeja denied the allegations.

Christian Bugeja and Helen Bugeja are pleading not guilty to trafficking in heroin on and before June 2002.

Mrs Bugeja is also charged with relapsing.

Lawyer Franco Debono was defence counsel.

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