Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 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
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum's mother Norah McCollum and sister Samantha McCollum vist the Peru prison
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, clutching the book 'Secrets About Life Every Woman Should Know: Ten principles for spiritual and emotional fulfillment' (AP Photo/Karel Navarro)
Michaella McCollum Connolly arrives to court for her sentencing in Callao, Peru (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Melissa Reid arrives for her sentencing at a court in Callao, Peru (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum, both handcuffed, arrive 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, left, and Melissa Reid listen to a translator during their hearing at court in Callao, Peru (AP)
Police escort Melissa Reid, front, and Michaella McCollum to a hearing in Lima, Peru (AP)
Police escort Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid from the National Police anti-drug headquarters in Peru (AP)
Michaella McCollum Connolly (left) and friend Melissa Reid in the airport after they were arrested
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly with rugby star Tommy Bowe while doing promotional work at an official Ulster Rugby event
Santa Monica female prison in Peru
Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England, pictured in Ibiza
Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England, pictured in Ibiza
Michaella McCollum Connolly with Brad Houston from England, pictured in Ibiza
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Belfast girl Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Jorge Chávez International Airport
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly
Michaella McCollum Connolly with reality TV star Mark Wright at a promotional night hosted by Belfast's M Club
Michaella McCollum Connolly in one of her club hostess outfits

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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