Rupert Hallowes secured the acquittal of a Romanian national, who had been resident in the UK for five years, following a four week trial at Croydon Crown Court. ML was indicted, together with two co-defendants, with a conspiracy to import 22 kg of cocaine. The investigation involved a seizure of a large quantity of high purity cocaine by the UK authorities following a tip off by Romanian law enforcement who had been authorised to wire tap the phone of a co-conspirator in Romania. As well as surveillance evidence and compelling cell site evidence, the prosecution evidence was rendered unusually formidable by virtue of the fact that the conspiracy and its aftermath were played out verbatim on the transcripts of the wire tap recordings.
Rupert’s client was the only defendant not to give evidence and the only defendant to be acquitted. The two co-defendants received sentences of 19 and 12 years respectively.