Updated: Latvian jailed 12 years
A Latvian man has been jailed 12 years and fined €30,000 after a jury found guilty of conspiring to import cocaine with eight votes to one.
The jury reached their verdict after deliberating for an hour.
The Latvian, Janis Boruss, 31, told a court today that he was drunk when he was arrested and when he gave a statement to the police in 2010.
He contested the charge because what was found in a false bottom of his bag were three kilogrammes of coffee and paracetamol. The prosecution, however, said this was a cutting agent for cocaine.
Mr Boruss conducted his own defence before the jurors.
He told the court he was an alcoholic at the time and was drunk when he arrived in Malta. He could not imagine what had been going through his head when he carried coffee and paracetemol in his luggage.
However, he still could not understand why he was in court over some coffee.
Prosecuting lawyer Elaine Mercieca Rizzo said his version of events did not make sense.
He was certainly not drunk at the time of his arrest and could not have been, since he would not have been allowed on the plane in the UK. Furthermore, while he was arrested in the morning, the police took his statement in the evening, which would have allowed him plenty of time to sober up, had he really been drunk. The police would not have taken the statement of anybody who was intoxicated.
Yesterday, Police Inspector Dennis Theuma said that the accused arrived on a flight from Luton Airport after picking up what he thought to be cocaine from Brussels.
In his police statement, he said he was booked in at the Sea Breeze Hotel and someone was to come and take the bag, for which he would receive a €700 payment.