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Warder ‘told inmate to throw away drugs’

A prison warder told an inmate to throw away a sachet of drugs she had received before realising she had made a mistake and going on to file a report, a court heard yesterday.

The incident involving warder Nina Formosa emerged in testimony given by her colleague Anna Vella in a case in which Concetta Decelis, 57, and Jason Decelis, 35, are charged with drug trafficking in prison.

Mother and son are serving a jail term of 40 years between them for their part in the death of 18-year-old drug addict Rachael Bowdler in 2001.

Ms Vella said that on November 21, 2009, she reported for work and was informed that the day before, prisoner Carmen Spiteri had alleged that she received drugs from Ms Decelis after the latter visited her son.

Ms Spiteri then informed Ms Vella that she had been told by warder Formosa to throw the drugs away because the last thing she needed was to have more problems with the law.

The inmate followed the instruction and put the drug in a coffee jar, throwing it into a skip. Ms Formosa realised she had made a mistake, retrieved the drug the following day and reported the incident.

In cross examination, defence lawyer Tonio Azzopardi asked Ms Vella if there were any procedures adopted when an inmate was found with drugs. She replied that she had informed the Prisons Director, Superintendent Abraham Zammit, on the Monday.

The case continues.

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