After being locked in jail for eight long years for growing five cannabis plants in his flat in Gozo, Daniel Holmes was released on Thursday.
Following his release, Holmes flew to his native Wales where he will be reunited with his wife, two daughters, his parents and other family members and friends.
After being first arrested in 2006, Holmes was sentenced to 10 years and 6 months in Corradino Correctional Facility and fined €23,000 for growing five cannabis plants in Gozo. His flatmate, Barry Lee, who was arrested alongside him, committed suicide while under arrest and awaiting sentencing.
Holmes’ wife and family have spent the last decade trying to appeal his sentence which was decided in 2011 and confirmed by an appeals court in 2013.
A year later, the Constitutional Court found that his rights were not breached by trial delays but the legal battle ensues as a case filed in the European Court of Human Rights against Malta in 2015 is still pending.
Holmes has always maintained that the cannabis was for his personal use however the police charged him with the importation, cultivation, possession and sale of cannabis.
Speaking to Welsh news portal Wales Online last year, Holmes said “It has taken such a chunk of my life – all my married life – for cannabis. It just strikes me as ridiculous.”