Unionist questions transfer of Michaella McCollum to NI prison

Unionist questions transfer of Michaella McCollum to NI prison

A row has emerged over the cost of the transfer of Michaella McCollum to a jail in the North.

The Belfast Newsletter is reporting that DUP MLA Maurice Morrow has questioned why the UK taxpayer is to pay £353,000 pounds in prison costs when "Dublin lobbied to return her to Ulster".

"It would seem that the Republic of Ireland’s interest in Michaella doesn’t extend, however, to paying for her imprisonment," he said.

Michaella McCollum was jailed in Peru for six years and eight months, for smuggling cocaine out of the South American country in 2013.

The North's Justice Minister David Ford has revealed that Ms McCollum must pay her airfare, but that the taxpayer would meet her jail costs.

While the North is willing to accept the transfer, Peru has not yet decided to release her.

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