Peruvian court to decide on Scottish drugs mule

Melissa Reid. Picture: Getty
Melissa Reid. Picture: Getty
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A court in Peru will decide this week if Scottish drugs mule Melissa Reid can be sent back to Britain.

A decision was due to be taken last week, but a court official in Lima said the judge was forced to delay his ruling due to workload. “Melissa Reid’s situation will be defined later this week,” the official said.

State prosecutors have yet to say whether they plan to appeal any decision to remove Reid, 22, from the country.

Reid, from Lenzie, Dunbartonshire, and Michaella McCollum, 23, from Co Tyrone in Northern Ireland, have been in custody in Peru since December 2013 when they were convicted of drugs trafficking after trying to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of Peru on a flight to Spain.

McCollum is facing an uncertain future in Peru after being released on bail on 31 March. She could have to spend up to four more years in the country.

Reid is applying for a return to Britain under a July 2014 law designed to reduce Peru’s prison population which is applicable to most first-time foreign offenders sentenced to less than seven years in jail.

The initiative, which foreign convicts can apply for once they have served a third of their jail term, has been branded an expulsion programme, though it is officially called a “special country departure benefit”.

The Scottish Prison Service agreed in principle to a transfer in 2014 and Reid had been awaiting approval from the prison authorities who need to consent to her serving the remainder of her sentence under Scots law.

It is understood she opted for the alternative of an expulsion – with no requirement to serve any prison time back in Britain – on legal advice.

McCollum and Reid were arrested on 6 August, 2013, as they tried to leave Peru with more than 11 kilos of cocaine in their suitcases.