Peru drugs case: Prosecutors want another hearing

The BBC's Wyre Davis looks at the plight of the scores of people caught trying to smuggle drugs out of Peru

Related Stories

Prosecutors in Peru are objecting to the guilty pleas by two UK women caught trying to smuggle cocaine out of Peru.

Michaella McCollum, of Dungannon, County Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, of Lenzie, near Glasgow, admitted on Tuesday to smuggling drugs.

Prosecutor Juan Rosas told the AFP news agency they needed to provide more information to get reduced sentences.

He said he would ask for another hearing to allow them to make a more complete confession.

The women, who face up to 15 years in prison, hope their admission of guilt will bring their sentences down to six years and eight months.

But Mr Rosas said the two women needed to explain why they initially claimed they were coerced by a gang of armed men.

He described their initial version of events as "unbelievable" and added that it had "not yet been examined".

'Kidnapped at gunpoint'

A spokesman for the prosecutors' office in Callao, where Tuesday's plea hearing took place, said: "The two drug mules' guilty pleas have not been fully accepted, as far as the prosecutor is concerned, until they give more details.

"They will be asked to give another statement before the judge explaining where the drugs came from, who supplied them and why they said they had been forced to carry them by an armed gang."

The spokesman said a date was still to be set for a new hearing.

McCollum and Reid, both 20, were stopped at Lima airport in August on their way to Spain carrying cocaine, said to be worth £1.5m, hidden inside food packets.

The women had reportedly told the Peruvian authorities they were working in Ibiza and did not meet before they were both kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to travel to Majorca.

They claimed they were then sent to Peru and forced to carry the drugs in their luggage.

But on Tuesday, at a closed hearing in Lima, they admitted the offences, and were told they would be sentenced on 1 October.

By pleading guilty they sought to reduce the minimum sentence of eight years by a sixth, down to six years and eight months without the possibility of parole.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK stories


Features & Analysis

  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine

  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world


  • An aerial shot shows the Olympic Stadium, which is closed for repair works on its roof, in Rio de Janeiro March 28, 2014.Extra Time Watch

    Will Rio be ready in time to host the Olympics in 2016? The IOC president gives his verdict

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.