Peru drug smugglers make further court declarations

Wednesday 02 October 2013 22.07
Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid were arrested in August
Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid were arrested in August

Tyrone woman Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid from Scotland have made further court declarations in Peru, after their guilty pleas for drug smuggling were rejected last week.

Ms McCollum, 20, from Dungannon, and Ms Reid, 20, from Glasgow, were arrested in August after 11.5kg of cocaine was found in their baggage as they tried to board a plane to Spain at Lima airport.

The state prosecutor sought the hearing to allow the two women a chance to clarify their guilty pleas.

He described the women's initial claim to have been kidnapped and coerced into carrying the drugs as an attempt to avoid full responsibility.

The court's response to their declarations and a possible date for sentencing are expected in the next few days.

Under Peruvian law, a guilty plea is only valid if it is sincere and there is a full acceptance of responsibility.