NEWS | Sunday, 11 November 2007

Retrial for Jean Agius as case annulled

Matthew Vella

A sentence of five years’ imprisonment for the notorious Soho landlord Jean Agius, accused of cocaine trafficking and possession in 2002, has been annulled by a court of criminal appeal because the first court did not list the crimes he was being sentenced for.
Agius, 62 from Attard, will be tried once again on charges of having imported 120g of cocaine to Malta after the appeals court ruled that the Court of Magistrates did not list the legal provisions indicating the crimes he was being punished for.
Agius was sentenced to prison and fined Lm4,000 in June 2007 on charges of association with intent to traffic heroin, trafficking and possession of cocaine when he was apprehended in November 2002 at Malta International Airport in the company of drug courier Vivienne Enahoro.
In his appeal, Agius’s defence counsel said a court sentence must list the crimes the accused was being punished for. The appeals court ruled that with the absence of the crimes and as well the listing of an offence Agius was not accused of, it had to annul the sentence and will now hear the retrial itself.
The former Soho landlord made a name for himself in the London nightclub district, migrating there in 1966, and eventually becoming the owner of 32 bars, restaurants and various striptease clubs over one square mile of the capital city. He famously quipped that he found it difficult to remember which establishments belonged to him.
Notoriously known as the ‘clip-joint king’ – the rip-off sex clubs – Agius is a great admirer of former prime minister Dom Mintoff. He proposed that a monument be erected in his honour, only to be turned down by Mintoff himself, saying he did not want to see pigeons, cats, and dogs excreting on it.

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