Department refuses to release McCollum transfer date

Michaella McCollum

Michaella McCollum

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Convicted drugs mule Michaella McCollum will be required to pay the cost of her transportation to Northern Ireland from a Peruvian jail, the Department of Justice said at the Northern Assembly last week.

However, the department refused to reveal when the transfer will take place, stating that this would be a violation of the prisoner’s rights under the First Data Protection Principle.

In response to questions tabled by DUP MLAs Maurice Morrow and Sammy Wilson, the department said that McCollum would have to give an undertaking to reimburse the cost of all flights to the public purse.

The department also revealed that the cost of jailing McCollum would be met withing existing budgets and thus the annual sum will be less than the average Cost per Prisoner Place.

McCollum, from Dungannon, Co Tyrone, and her accomplice Melissa Reid from Glasgow were jailed in 2013 for six years and eight months.

The pair admitted trying to smuggle cocaine worth £1.5 million from Peru to Spain.