Michaella formally charged

Police escort Melissa Reid, of Britain, front, and Michaella McCollum Connolly, of Ireland, behind right, from the National Police anti-drug headquarters to a court to be formally charged for drug trafficking in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013.  Video emerged showing Reid and her travel partner being nervously interrogated after their Aug. 6 detention at Lima's airport for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine on a flight to Spain. In the video, Reid says she was forced to take "these bags" in her luggage. She says she didn't know there were drugs inside them. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Police escort Melissa Reid, of Britain, front, and Michaella McCollum Connolly, of Ireland, behind right, from the National Police anti-drug headquarters to a court to be formally charged for drug trafficking in Lima, Peru, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2013. Video emerged showing Reid and her travel partner being nervously interrogated after their Aug. 6 detention at Lima's airport for allegedly trying to smuggle cocaine on a flight to Spain. In the video, Reid says she was forced to take "these bags" in her luggage. She says she didn't know there were drugs inside them. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)

THE Dungannon woman arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Lima was formally charged and faces up to 15 years in jail if found guilty.

Michaella McCollum Connolly and her co-accused Melissa Reid from Lenzie near Glasgow, are expected to plead not guilty to the charge of attempting to smuggle £1.5 million worth of cocaine out of Peru.

The pair were intercepted at the Air Europa check-in desk at the capital’s Jorge Chavez airport.

Miss McCollum’s solicitor Peter Madden has criticised the conditions that the women were kept in.

The two women have now been moved to a detention centre after appearing before the District Prosecutor.

The fact that the pair do not speak any Spanish is exacerbating the situation and making the Peruvian legal system appear even more complicated.

Miss McCollum and Miss Reid will eventually be transferred to the high security Ancon 2 prison, situated north of Lima in a desert area.

Users of the Facebook page ‘Free Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid’ continue to protest the girls’ innocence.