Exactly how an Ulsterwoman will plead to accusations of drug smuggling was still uncertain yesterday.
The lawyer for Dungannon woman Michaella McCollum has been quoted in newspapers as saying a guilty plea might not be ruled out, amid reports that her co-accused, Melissa Reid, looks set to plead guilty to the charges.
“I don’t know if she’s going to make a guilty plea... but it could happen,” her lawyer Peter Madden was reported as saying by both The Sun and The Mail.
“Melissa Reid’s family have already urged her to plead guilty and Michaella is aware of the options available to her.”
Yesterday the News Letter attempted to contact Mr Madden but was unable to do so.
As reported yesterday Reid, also apprehended at the same time on suspicion of drugs offences, said in a newspaper interview that she intends to admit possession of the drugs with intent to transport them to Spain, but maintained she did it under duress.
The 20-year-old, from Lenzie near Glasgow, was arrested along with McCollum, also 20, as the pair attempted to board a flight from Lima to Madrid last month.
Authorities discovered an estimated £1.5m worth of cocaine hidden in food packages inside their luggage.
The pair repeatedly claimed they were forced into carrying the drugs by a criminal gang.
According to reports, a plea bargain by Reid could see her sentence cut from up to 25 years to around six-and-a-half years.
Her family believes she could be released in just three years with remission.
The two women had been working on the Spanish party island of Ibiza after, separately, leaving the UK in June.
Initially the Ulsterwoman’s family posted messages on the internet calling for her to get in touch with them.
In early August, before anything was known of the link to Peru, there were fears for McCollum’s safety after she disappeared out of contact in Ibiza.
Both the defendants claim they were befriended by a man from London while working in bars.
They also say it was he who then introduced them to the drug cartel members, and that they were shadowed by gang members throughout the journey and warned that if they did not pick up the drugs in Peru and bring them back to Spain their families would be killed.
Reid’s father William had previously said he believes the pair should plead guilty in order to get the legal process over as quickly as possible.
The two are said to be helping one another out in the prison where they are being held.