Michaella McCollum is released from Peru prison after she was jailed for trying to smuggle cocaine

Michaella McCollum Connolly, pictured in 2013, was released effectively on parole on Thursday night

Convicted drugs mule Michaella McCollum Connolly, one of the ‘Peru Two’, has been released from prison, her solicitor has confirmed.

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

The 23-year-old from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, was released effectively on parole on Thursday night after serving two years and three months.

‘I can confirm Michaella has been released from jail and I’m waiting to hear the outcome of the judicial process,’ said Kevin Winters, McCollum’s solicitor, describing her prison conditions as ‘horrendous’

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. 

Preuvian authorities agreed to let both 23-year-old women serve the remainder of their sentences in the UK, but the pair still remain in the South American country.

A judicial process will now determine what, if any, conditions are attached to McCollum Connolly’s effective parole, it is understood. Moves were being made to repatriate her to Northern Ireland.

McCollum was released from prison at 5pm on Thursday following a successful application for parole, Mr Winters said.

The solicitor stressed she was not freed under any repatriation scheme or other protocol between Peru and the UK and that a pending judicial hearing would determine the conditions of her parole.

‘At this stage it remains unclear when Michaella may be eligible to return home,’ he added.

‘That will be a matter for the court and a pending judicial hearing to determine the conditions of her parole. 

‘We are working with her lawyers in Peru and hope to be in a position to clarify further, as soon as possible.’ 

Northern Irish Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid from Scotland were jailed for six years and eight months in 2013 after they were caught with cocaine worth £1.5million hidden in their luggage at Lima Airport

McCollum (picturedin 2013) is not freed under any repatriation scheme or other protocol between Peru and the UK and a pending judicial hearing would determine the conditions of her parole

Meanwhile, Reid, from Lenzie, Glasgow, is still in Ancon 2 prison as she has asked for a prison transfer to Scotland, rather than parole.

While McCollum Connolly’s legal team is applying for her to be repatriated to Northern Ireland, she may have to serve parole in Peru.

This means that while not behind bars, McCollum Connolly would have to stay in Peru for the remainder of her six years and eight month sentence.


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