Irish drug mule Michaella McCollum Connolly and Scottish pal Melissa Reid are to escape a full trial and are likely to have their prison sentence in Peru reduced.
Tyrone native McCollum Connolly and Scottish born Reid, both 20, were arrested at Lima airport when cocaine was discovered hidden inside packages of food in their luggage as they prepared to fly to Madrid and then on to Majorca.
A report in the Guardian newspaper says the pair will have their jail terms slashed and won’t face a full trial under an early termination process for drug mules.
The pair were found guilty at a preliminary hearing of attempting to smuggle over $2million worth of cocaine out of Lima airport last August.
The paper reports that the early termination process means the drugs mules are spared a trial and automatically receive a sixth off a minimum eight-year sentence.
The girls are still in jail as the main hearing in their case has been canceled because of a judges’ strike.
Peru’s new chief prosecutor Gustavo Carvajal confirmed to the Guardian, “We have submitted our report to the judge in charge of the case and state in that report we are happy for Melissa and Michaella to benefit from the early termination process.
"We have taken that decision after careful analysis of the case." The sentence the women receive is a decision for the judge. The minimum sentence for drugs trafficking is eight years and the maximum 15.
“There is provision under Peruvian law for a reduced sentence, but it is by no means a foregone conclusion in this case.
“It will all depend on the outcome of the sentencing hearing. We had expected the hearing to take place this week, were it not for the ongoing judicial strike.”
The paper says that a spokesman for the court in the Lima neighborhood of Callao tasked with the women’s case added: “I can confirm the sentencing hearing was due to take place on Tuesday, December 10.
“The reading of the sentence has been postponed due to an ongoing judges’ strike. A new date will be announced as and when we know it.”
McCollum Connolly and Scottish born Reid were arrested at Lima airport when cocaine was discovered hidden inside packages of food in their luggage as they prepared to fly to Madrid and then on to Majorca.