A Sheriff has threatened to summon a Home Office executive to her court to explain a delay in deciding whether two Vietnamese men were human trafficked.
Chien Le, aged 27, and 34 year old Thong Nguyn, have been charged with supplying and producing controlled drugs following a raid on the Highlander Hotel in Buckie last September.
They have been in custody for over seven months.
Both men, who are of no fixed abode, made no plea when they appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court immediately after the hotel raid and their case called once more on Tuesday.
Sheriff Margaret Neilson expressed her frustration that no progress can be made on the case until the Home Office make a decision.
According to the Lord Advocate’s guidelines, anyone who has been human trafficked shouldn’t be prosecuted but deported.
The immigrants’ lawyers, Matthew O’Neill and Ben Thom, told the Sheriff that they had made efforts to speed things along.
Fiscal depute Robert Weir said he had also attempted to get information from the Home Office before the court sat. He added that the Crown couldn’t make its decision on whether a prosecution will go ahead until hearing from the Home Office.
Sheriff Neilson said: “I may call someone from the Home Office to explain what is the reason for the delay. It may do some good, it may not.”