A man was on Friday declared not guilty of trafficking drugs due to a lack of valid evidence.

The man, Darren Grech, was arrested behind the wheel of his car in December 2009. Joseph Duca, who was driving another car that Mr Grech was seen approaching, was also arrested.

As they approached the car, the police saw the accused throw away what they suspected was a sachet of heroin. Mr Duca was found in possession of €25 in his pocket and €80 in his wallet. A subsequent search of Mr Grech’s house returned a makeshift crack pipe and €885 in cash.

The accused released a statement at the time but was not allowed to consult a lawyer before or during the interrogation. The court declared the statement inadmissible in light of recent court judgements.

The only determining evidence in the case was the sworn statement released by Mr Duca, but he was not produced as a witness by the prosecution.

No tests were carried out on the substance in the sachet to prove it was heroin, nor was it exhibited as evidence and neither were other seized items including mobile phones, diaries and cash.

The court, presided by magistrate Natasha Galea Sciberras, upheld the pleas raised by the defence and declared the accused not guilty.

Lawyer Joe Giglio was defence counsel.

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