UK & World News
Peru Drugs: Women Charged And Detained
Michaella McCollum and Melissa Reid are still waiting to be charged in Peru over alleged cocaine smuggling.
There has been confusion from legal sources on the ground over whether the charges had been formally brought, but it is understood the process is still to take place.
Prosecutors' office spokeswoman Karen Guardia said the women were expected to be formally charged by Wednesday afternoon and then transferred to prison to await trial.
Michaella McCollum, from Dungannon, County Tyrone, and Melissa Reid, from Lenzie near Glasgow, have spent the past two weeks in police custody.
Earlier on Tuesday, the handcuffed women were taken from a police station to the district prosecutor's office, before being transported to a detention centre in Callao, close to Peru.
It is understood they had a medical examination and gave statements.
The pair, both 20, were arrested earlier this month while trying to board a flight from Lima to Madrid.
Police said they found around 11kg of cocaine hidden inside food packages in their luggage.
Ms McCollum and Ms Reid both deny the allegations and say they were forced to carry the drugs by a gang of Colombian drug traffickers who said they would hurt the women's families if they did not go through with the plan.
If charged, it is thought unlikely the pair would be granted bail because of the severity of the charges.
The women would instead be moved to a prison where it is believed they would be separated until a trial.
The pair's court hearing comes just a day after CCTV footage emerged which senior police officers claim shows Ms McCollum in the Peruvian capital on August 5 walking around freely - despite the women saying they were held at gunpoint on that day.
Police said the CCTV would form the basis of their case when it went before the district prosecutor.
However, the lawyer acting for Ms McCollum, who is also known as Michaella McCollum Connolly, denied she was captured on the footage and sought to dispel newspaper reports he said were erroneous.
Peter Madden said: "She was not out shopping in Lima and spending a lot of money, that didn't happen.
"Michaella (McCollum) Connolly did not owe any money to any drugs dealer, she was not and is not involved in the drugs trade, she has no criminal record, she has never been in trouble with the police in her life."