Most of the case presented at trial against the Freshwater Five relied on circumstantial evidence. No traces of drugs were found on the men’s boat after a thorough search, so the prosecution needed to convince the jury beyond doubt that the men were linked to the 250kg of cocaine found in Freshwater Bay on the UK’s Isle of Wight.
In this episode Anushka Asthana examines the evidence against the men. The prosecution focused on one man in particular: Zoran Dresic, who had arrived in the UK from Montenegro on a false passport and had no real experience of working on a fishing boat. The defence argued it was normal to hire inexperienced foreign labourers in this way for what was hard work on low wages.
Then there is a series of phone calls made that weekend between the men on the boat and others back on land. The prosecution maintained that this was the group coordinating the transfer of drugs. The men argued they were trying to make contact as their new crew member had become seasick.
In the original trial the jury were convinced by the evidence against the men. But, as we’ll see in the next episode, the main piece of direct evidence against them did not go unchallenged.
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