Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Michaella's lawyer says family are confident she will be proven innocent

Solicitor also rubbishes reports Northern Irish woman is on hunger strike and says family plan to fly to Peru

Michaella McCollum Connolly, handcuffed, arrives for a court hearing, in Lima, Peru (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Michaella McCollum Connolly, handcuffed, arrives for a court hearing, in Lima, Peru (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)

Michaella McCollum Connolly's lawyer has said her family are confident she will be cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Michaella's family are obviously shocked and distressed by the recent events but are confident that Michaella will be exonerated," said solicitor Peter Madden.

The family are making arrangements to travel to Peru and have contacted support groups in Lima to help her in the meantime. They are also arranging legal representation.

Mr Madden added: "I spoke to Michaella last night and she emphasised that she denied that she was guilty of any offence. She is well. She is not on hunger strike.

"She is finding it difficult to cope with the current situation, so far from home, but is optimistic."

Ms McCollum Connolly has denied involvement in any criminal offence to the Peruvian authorities.

Statement in full from Peter Madden, solicitor to the family of Michaella McCollum Connolly

"We represent the family of Michaella McCollum, who is currently in police detention in Peru.

"Michaella has been questioned by the police and has denied involvement in any criminal offence. She will be appearing before an examining judge shortly.

"Michaella's family are obviously shocked and distressed by the recent events but are confident that Michaella will be exonerated. The family fully support her and they are making arrangements to travel to Peru. They have contacted support groups in Lima to ensure that her current needs are met.

"I am arranging legal representation for her in Lima.

"I spoke to Michaella last night and she emphasised that she denied that she was guilty of any offence. She is well. She is not on hunger strike. She is finding it difficult to cope with the current situation, so far from home, but is optimistic.

"The family want privacy at this time and hopefully this will be respected by the press and media."

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