Drug trafficker awarded €6,000 as European Court backs complaint against Malta
The European Court has awarded €6,000 to a convicted drug trafficker after upholding a complaint he made over a judgement by the Maltese courts.
The Chamber judgement is not final.
European Rights Europe, a website of the Council of Europe, said the applicant, John Camilleri, had been convicted by the Criminal Court in Malta of possession of Ecstasy and sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment and a 35,000 euro fine.
Camilleri took his case to the European Court, complaining about the absence of legal provisions on the discretion of the Attorney General to decide in which court to try a drug trafficking case, and therefore the punishment bracket (six months to ten years if tried in the Magistrates' court or four years to life if tried in the Criminal Court).
The European Court upheld his case, finding that there was a a violation of Article 7 (no punishment without law) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
The European court found that Maltese law did not provide any guidance on what would amount to a more serious offence or a less serious one.
The court held that Malta was to pay Mr Camilleri 1,000 euros in respect of nonpecuniary damage and 5,000 euro in respect of costs and expenses.