Published Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Michaella McCollum pictured at an earlier court hearing in Peru. (© Getty)
Michaella McCollum from Dungannon and Scottish woman Melissa Reid, both 20, are being held on drug trafficking charges in the South American country.
A total of 24lb (11kg) of cocaine, with an estimated street value of £1.5m, was found hidden in food packets in their luggage while they tried to board a flight to Spain at Lima International Airport in August.
Both women maintain that they knew the drugs were in their bags - but that a gang forced them at gunpoint to carry the cocaine.
Peruvian counter narcotics prosecutor Luis Mendoza, in an interview with Sky News, suggested both women could plead guilty and qualify for a lighter sentence, which could be served in their home country.
He said: "The British citizens agree to the position of the Public Ministry, if they continue with their strategy they can go to trial.
"However, they are able to qualify for an early termination, which means they probably could get a sentence of six to eight years maximum.
It's very possible that they may complete their sentence in the United Kingdom.
Prosecutor Luis Mendoza
"There is an agreement in our country that those convicted can choose an early termination procedure, assuming their guilt and paying civil damages and agreeing to the judgement, meaning there is no kind of appeal."
Over the weekend it was reported that Ms McCollum may plead guilty in return for a lighter sentence.
The pair have yet to make their pleas in front of a judge and are expected to do so when they are back in court later this month.
During their time in custody in Peru the women have become very close, with Ms Reid describing their relationship as "like sisters".
Her mum Debra has said the conditions both are facing are "difficult".
"They've been bitten by some bugs that are in the assessment unit they're being held in, quite badly - I believe that they've had to have an injection to try to stop them swelling up," she told This Morning.
"At the minute, they're being held in what they call the assessment unit. They're not in the main prison yet."
Michaella's family have started a fund to raise much needed cash to support her legal fight.
So far over thousand have been raised from those supporting the 20-year-old's legal battle.
Her sister Stephanie said: "She is trying to remain positive but is also being realistic in the fact that she may be there for a while."
© UTV News