Friday 30 September 2016

Drug mule Melissa Reid could be free to return home by the end of the week

Published 26/04/2016 | 15:34

Michaella McCollum with Melissa Reid from Scotland. Photo: AP Photo/Peru's National Police
Michaella McCollum with Melissa Reid from Scotland. Photo: AP Photo/Peru's National Police

Drugs mule Melissa Reid will appear in court today where she will ask a judge to free her and allow her to fly home.

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Her latest freedom bid comes less than a month after Irish friend Michaella McCollum Connolly was released on bail in Peru.

The Daily Mail is reporting that 22-year-old Melissa will ask to be allowed home to her family in Scotland.

While former model McCollum Connolly, 23, from Co Tyrone must remain in the capital Lima, Melissa is bidding to be expelled from the south American country.

The key hearing will take place at 2pm local time today - 8pm Irish time - to decide Reid's request.

The paper is reporting that the matter will take place behind closed doors in a makeshift courtroom at Sarita Colonia Prison.

The judge will then have three working days to make his decision.

The prison governor at Ancon Dos jail in northern Lima has already backed Melissa has already won the backing of her prison governor and she is expected to be present at the hearing along with her defence lawyer.

Reid is applying to be returned to the UK under a peruvian law designed to reduce Peru’s prison population.

A court source in Callao, the judicial district overseeing Reid's case, confirmed to the paper: "A special country departure benefit hearing for foreigners has been programmed for Melissa Reid for April 26 at 2pm in Sarita Colonia Jail."

Melissa Reid
Melissa Reid

Ms McCollum Connolly was released on bail and must stay in the country until her sentence is completed.

The move highlights the two different approaches both women have taken to secure their freedom.

The drug mules were imprisoned in 2013 for six years and eight months after admitting trying to smuggle cocaine worth €1.9m from Peru to Spain.

Following her release last month McCollum told RTE she had been "very naive".

"I was so young, very insecure," she said.

"A lot of times I didn't know how to say no to somebody. I kind of just followed along with it."

Smuggling: Michaella and Melissa. Photo: Mariana Bazo.
Smuggling: Michaella and Melissa. Photo: Mariana Bazo.

She said she now regretted her crime. "I made a decision in a moment of madness. I'm not a bad person," she said.

"I want to demonstrate that I'm a good person."

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