A JURY in Gibraltar has found four Spanish men caught with £11 million of hashish in local waters NOT guilty of importing the illegal drug.
The four had, however, earlier pleaded guilty to being in possession of the two tons of cannabis resin, for which they could go to prison for up to five years.
Chief Justice Anthony Dudley also found them not guilty of importing the illegal 12-metre RHIB they were travelling on.
Campo residents Francisco Javier Rocca Caballo, Francisco Andres Fernandez Sanchez, Juan Manuel Rivera Montero and Juan Carlos Guitterez Exposito have already spent 17 months behind bars.
They damaged a Customs boat in 2021 as they tried to flee before being arrested.
Gibraltar police posted the video of the chase on Twitter once the trial had finished.
GBC News reported how prosecutor Christian Rocca told the jury the operation had been carefully planned and executed.
Rocca claimed they knew they had cross into British Gibraltar’s territorial waters.
But defence lawyer Christopher Finch managed to convince the jury that much larger forces had exploited the accused for their own ends.
He argued that there needed to be intent to import the drugs and the boat to Gibraltar
Otherwise, Finch said a court could view a sailing boat passing through the bay as an importation.
The Supreme Court’s nine person jury then acquitted the defendants of drug smuggling charges.
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