The Belfast model accused of trafficking cocaine in Peru will plead her innocence in court on Wednesday after authorities released video footage of her arrest at Lima Airport.

Michaella McCollum and Scottish teenager Melissa Reid will appear in front of a Peruvian judge on trafficking charges.

The pair tell police on the video that they were forced to carry the drugs in food packets.

Irish-American Sean Walsh, the Archbishop of Lima for the Eastern Catholic Church sect, visited 20-year-old Michaella in prison on Monday. Walsh is a married former Augustinian priest.

He told the Irish Independent newspaper that the Monaghan born model is ‘frightened and devastated at her arrest but will protest her innocence in front of a Peruvian judge tomorrow’.
Walsh told the paper that he believes she was coerced into allegedly smuggling drugs out of the country.

He said: “My personal feeling with these girls? They really and truly have been set up.”

The Archbishop has also spoken to Michaella’s worried mother Norah and reassured the family that she is being well treated.

The police video shows the two young women and the food packages which officers say contained the cocaine in their luggage.

Officers claim Michaella was stopped with almost 5.8kg of cocaine in her luggage with a similar amount found in Reid’s baggage.

The Irish Independent has also published a transcript of the video in which Reid says she was ‘forced to take these bags’ in her luggage and denies knowing anything about the drugs.
The girls face up to 25 years in prison if they are found guilty.

Archbishop Walsh added: “The girls were weepy and upset. They are embarrassed at how everything has affected their families back home. They are devastated by that but I assured them they need to stay strong.

“They are due to appear in a court on Wednesday when they will be interrogated by a judge. They believe they were set up and they will use that as a defence.”

Former Irish consul Michael Russell also believes the girls were set-up. He said: “As soon as they got into the airport, they were arrested. It could have been the case that the main drug dealer described the people to the police in the airport.”

Here's BBC news footage:

Michaella McCollum Connolly, aka Kayla (L) at Lima's Jorge Chavez International Airport with Melissa Reid after being arrested with over five kilograms of cocaine.Peruvian Police