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Sentencing of ‘Peru 2′ postponed due to judges’ strike

Michaela McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid were due to be sentenced today. No new date has been set for their court appearance.

Michaela McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid being escorted to a court appearance in August
Michaela McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid being escorted to a court appearance in August
Image: Martin Mejia/AP/Press Association Images

Updated at 11.22pm

THE SENTENCING IN PERU of Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid — the two young women from Northern Ireland and Scotland, respectively, who have admitted trying to smuggle drugs — has been postponed due to a judges’ strike.

The two women pleaded guilty in September to attempting to smuggle just over 11 kilograms of cocaine out of Peru. Initially, they had denied guilt, claiming they had been coerced into smuggling by a shady international cartel after being kidnapped.

They later changed their story stating they “knew they were going to transport drugs, and that they regret having participated in such an act”.

They were due to be sentenced today, but the BBC is reporting that the hearing has been delayed as a result of the strike, and that no new date has been set.

Meanwhile, it’s being reported this evening that prosecutors in the case are ready to sign-up to a deal that would see the pair receive shorter sentences.

According to an article by Gerard Couzens running on both the Irish Independent and Scotsman websites this evening, the new prosecutor in the case has told the judge that he’s happy with the statements of guilt made to date, meaning the women could each serve a sentence of 6 years and eight months.

“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,” prosecutor Gustavo Carvajal is quoted as saying.

He added that a reduced sentence was not a foregone conclusion, and depended on the outcome of the sentencing hearing.

The previous prosecutor stated in September that fuller confessions would be needed if the two were to benefit from the early termination scheme.

The women were arrested on 6 August at the international airport in Lima, when 5.7 kilograms of cocaine were found in Connolly’s luggage and 5.8 kilograms in Reid’s. They were trying to board a plane for Spain, where they had been working on the island of Ibiza.

Originally posted at 8.05pm

Related: Michaella McCollum Connolly pleads guilty to drug offences in Peru>

Read: Peru pair face sentences of six years and 8 months>

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