Michaella McCollum released from Peru prison

Michaella McCollum released from Peru prison

Peru drugs mule Michaella McCollum has been released from prison, her solicitor has confirmed.

McCollum, from Co Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, from Scotland, were imprisoned in 2013 for six years and eight months after admitting trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5m from Peru to Spain.

Michaella McCollum released from Peru prison

Kevin Winters, McCollum's solicitor, said she was released effectively on parole last night and was waiting to hear the terms of her release.

"I can confirm Michaella has been released from jail and I'm waiting to hear the outcome of the judicial process," he said.

It is not yet known whether the terms of her release will allow her to return home or if she will have to remain in Peru for some time.

McCollum was freed under new legislation on early prison release introduced in the South American country last year.

She has served two years and three months.

Michaella McCollum released from Peru prison

A statement from Mr Winters read: “She was released from prison at 5pm last night following a successful application for parole.

“She has NOT been released under any repatriation scheme or other protocol between Peru and the UK.

“There will be a pending judicial hearing to determine the conditions of her parole.

“St this stage it remains unclear when she may be eligible to return home.

“That will be a matter for the court.

“We are working with her lawyers in Peru and will hope to be in a position to clarify further as soon as possible.”

Mr Winters had described the conditions of their detention as horrendous.

Last year, Stormont Justice Minister David Ford approved an application for the repatriation of McCollum on a number of issues, including the difficulty encountered in maintaining family contact.

McCollum, from Dungannon, and Reid, from Glasgow, were caught with the haul at Lima airport on August 6 2013 attempting to fly to Spain.

They had claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs but pleaded guilty to charges later that year.

The pair were caught trying to board a flight with 24lb (11kg) of cocaine in food packets hidden inside their luggage.

McCollum and Reid faced the prospect of a maximum 15-year prison term but struck a behind-closed-doors plea bargain to secure a shorter sentence.

The pair had previously been held at Lima's Virgen de Fatima prison but were moved to the Ancon 2 prison, where horrific conditions reportedly had McCollum crammed in to a cell with 30 other prisoners with extremely poor sanitation and toilet facilities.

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