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Peru pair could face six-month probe if pleas rejected

Two British women who pleaded guilty to drug charges in Peru could face a six-month investigation if their pleas are not accepted, the Peruvian prosecutor in charge of their case said.

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid making their way to court. Credit: RTV

Juan Mendoza made the comments after Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid, both 20, made a second appearance before a judge at Sarita Colonia del Callao jail, in Callao, near Lima.

He did not give details of the private hearing but suggested the women's confessions had not satisfied prosecutors.

Last week, McCollum and Reid pleaded guilty to drug smuggling and had hoped their admission would be enough to secure a shorter sentence.

But prosecutors have demanded more information before accepting their admissions of guilt which the women hope will bring their jail time down to six years and eight months.

British pair back in Peru court

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly are taken from prison in Peru.

Two British women who pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking in Peru were taken to court for further proceedings in their case.

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly were arrested at Peru's airport in mid-August and pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking earlier last week

The pair arrive at court.

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Peru drug pair 'in great form' inside better prison

Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid are in brilliant health in a modern well-equipped prison, an Irish priest said. Last week the pair pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle cocaine out of the country.

Father Foley visited the pair last Saturday and said he found them "in great form," despite his continued belief that they are victims of drug gangs, and forced into smuggling. He said:

They weren't in a cell. They were out in a wide open space sitting at a table with a parasol, they were talking and drinking coffee.

As well as that they had telephone communication and they could use it for calling home. I thought they were in great form actually.

My firm belief is that they were conned, they were backed into a compromising situation and their handlers worked on that and got them to go to customs with drugs.

What very likely happened was that people coming behind them in the queue in the airport were the ones who walked through with the drugs.

Peru two need to provide more details, prosecutor says

The guilty pleas made by Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid have not been accepted because the British women need to provide more information on who supplied the drugs they were found with at Lima airport, prosecutors 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.

– Spokesman for the prosecutors' office in Callao

Guilty plea from Peru drug pair 'will not be accepted'

The guilty pleas made by Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum, arrested with almost 12 kilos of cocaine in their luggage in Peru, will not be accepted, the prosecution said.

Yesterday the pair pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges in front of a judge. However anti-narcotics prosecutor Juan Rosas said that as the new plea only claimed partial guilty for their actions, it would not be accepted by the prosecution.

Juan Rosas said the plea bargain stipulates the women must take complete responsibility, not partial. Credit: APTN.

Mr Rosas said the women would have to release a new statement, admitting they made up the story about being kidnapped and threatened. He said:

"A new statement is required by the women and they will have to admit not only that they came here to traffic drugs but also that they did not tell the truth with respect to them being kidnapped.

"They have to make a full admission of responsibility for all of the charges brought by the prosecution."

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Peru lawyer 'can't comment until sentencing hearing'

Peter Madden also represented families of the deceased at the Bloody Sunday Inquiry Credit: PA

The lawyer representing Michaella McCollum has said he is unable to disclose the details of the hearing that took place on Tuesday.

Peter Madden said McCollum accepted the charges and a sentencing hearing will take place next Tuesday 1 October.

Madden said: "I intend to travel to Lima next week to attend the sentencing hearing and after the sentence is handed down by the judge, it will be possible make further comment."

Drug pair seen behind bars in Peru court

Melissa Reid and Michaela McCollum Connelly behind bars inside the court in Peru. Credit: Corte del Callao

Pictures have emerged of Melissa Reid and Michaela McCollum Connelly behind bars inside the court in Peru.

Melissa Reid and Michaela McCollum Connelly behind bars inside the court in Peru. Credit: Corte del Callao

Peru drug smuggling pair await sentencing

For six weeks they protested their innocence but this evening, the two young women accused of smuggling cocaine from Peru pleaded guilty to drugs trafficking.

It means Melissa Reid and Michaela McCollum Connelly will get shorter sentences than if they had lost court cases and they may be able to serve some of the time back home.

Neil Connery reports:

Peru pair to be sentenced on October 1

Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum, who pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of Peru, will be sentenced next week at a new hearing.

The pair gave behind-closed-doors pleas, in the port town of Callao. A spokesman for the court in Callao said:

They will automatically have a sixth off from the minimum jail sentence of eight years and will be sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.

Sentencing will take place on October 1 at a new hearing.

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