The Colombian lawyer for alleged drug mule Cassandra Sainsbury has claimed the 22-year-old Adelaide woman may be able to reduce her possible prison sentence if she admits a degree of complicity.
Orlando Herran said Sainsbury, who was arrested last month for allegedly trying to smuggle 5.8kg of cocaine out of the South American nation, may be able to receive a minimum sentence of four years if she strikes a deal with prosecutors.
If Sainsbury admits serious negligence for not checking her luggage for the illicit substance, she may even be able to have her case heard within 90 days, Herran said.
Herran admitted “I would suggest we go for the shorter process and get a small punishment.”
Her legal rep also claimed that circumstance may also allow her “conditional liberty”, which essentially equates to parole, and that she may be able to serve it back in Australia.
Should Sainsbury be found guilty of the far more serious drug trafficking charges, she may end up with a prison sentence of between 8 and 20 years.
It’s not only the possible sentence that presents a problem, either. Herran admitted that “if we go for innocence and try to prove that, it will delay [the ruling] between a year and a year and a half.
“That process will make sure Cassandra is in prison and that’s difficult.”
Sainsbury has claimed her innocence for the duration of the ordeal, saying the drugs were given to her while concealed within several sets of headphones. The search continues for the man who allegedly provided her with the drugs.
Herran described his client’s current state in El Buen Pastor prison as incredibly difficult, saying she’s “very traumatised” and “she cries a lot, almost all the time, because she feels powerless with this situation.”
We’ll keep you updated on this one.