Published Saturday, 17 August 2013
Michaella McCollum Connolly, who is 20 and from Dungannon, and 19-year-old Melissa Reid from Scotland, were arrested last week boarding a flight to Spain.
They are accused of having 11kg of illegal drugs - worth £1.5m - in their luggage.
Video footage released on Tuesday showed the pair denying the allegations. They claimed they were forced at gunpoint to make the journey from the Spanish holiday island of Ibiza, where they had been working in bars, after being befriended by a man from London.
McCollum's solicitor, Peter Madden of Madden & Finucane, has flown to Peru and has spoken to the accused as she awaits a court appearance.
He said: "She was in fact kidnapped, held at gunpoint and forced by threat to obtain and carry drugs - she wasn't offered any money, she was threatened and held. She is now prepared to give full details to police, who are in a questioning process."
However the head of Ibiza's anti-drugs unit, Alberto Arian Barilla, cast doubt on their claims.
"In my experience I don't think these two girls were forced to do this because - particularly when you go to South America - you need to pass several controls," he told BBC radio.
"The first thing you do is go to the passport control and say 'Listen, this is what is happening to me'. The policeman will react so I don't think they were forced."
The pair were expected to appear in court to receive initial charges on Wednesday, but it is now understood this has been moved back because they have not seen an interpreter.
Peter Madden said the family are "obviously shocked and distressed" but are confident that Michaela will be exonerated.
He explained that she has now been set up with a lawyer from Lima.
"I arrived at the police station this morning and I was faced with the dilemma that Michaella was about to be questioned and there was no lawyer available," he continued.
"So I asked them to postpone the questioning and after a lot of argument they did agree. I have engaged a local lawyer from Lima who is now with Michaella."
© UTV News