\"Michaella

Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid in court for drug smuggling charges in Peru. Photo by: TheJournal.ie

Michaella McCollum Connolly to plead guilty to drug mule charges in Peru court

\"Michaella

Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid in court for drug smuggling charges in Peru. Photo by: TheJournal.ie

Irish girl Michaella McCollum Connolly will plead guilty to cocaine trafficking charges when she appears in a Peru court on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old and Scottish co-accused Melissa Reid will both enter guilty pleas when they appear before magistrates in Lima.

McCollum Connolly hopes that the plea will lead to a reduced sentence and see her serve less than seven years in a Peru prison.

She will also maintain she was set-up by drug gang bosses according to a report in the Irish Independent.

She told the paper that that she took the decision following conversations with her lawyer Meyer Fishman.

The two girls are charged with the illegal trafficking of just over 5kg of cocaine each.

They are currently on remand in the Virgen de Fatima women’s prison in Lima.

Tyrone born McCollum Connolly told the paper: “I understand that the judicial process will be simpler if we both plead guilty.

“We are hoping that we will not have to wait too long before we are sentenced and pleading guilty will speed things up.”

The young Irish girl also hopes that the guilty plea may lead to a transfer back to a prison in her native Northern Ireland.

She said: “We are both nervous about appearing in court and anxious to learn our fate.

“We have heard so many rumours about the possibility of early release or serving our sentence at home, that it is difficult to know what to believe.

“We are trying not to get our hopes up.”

Recent changes to Peruvian law mean the two women are the first people accused of drug trafficking to have their initial hearing held in public court according to the report.

The Irish Independent says the new regulations could mean good news for the women as first-time offenders now also have the possibility of conditional release, depending on the crime.

The report says it is likely that lawyer Meyer Fishman will then attempt to negotiate to have the women sent home to serve out their sentence.

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