Egypt jails British woman Laura Plummer for 'smuggling painkillers'

Egypt jails British woman Laura Plummer for 'smuggling painkillers'

The 33-year-old shopkeeper, Laura Plummer, was arrested on October 9 after police found close to 300 pills of Tramadol packed in her luggage at Egypt's Hurghada International Airport, according to the BBC.

Possessing Tramadol without a prescription is a felony in Egypt. Plummer and her family have always maintained that the pills - available on prescription in Great Britain - were for her partner Omar Abdel Aziz, who suffers from chronic back pain. She made no effort to hide the tablets, which the BBC reports she obtained from a friend.

In an interview with the British newspaper the Guardian, Rachel Plummer - Laura's sister - expressed her shock at the final verdict.

There had been concerns that she could face up to 25 years in jail, or even the death penalty. Plummer's family says she had no idea that bringing the painkillers to Egypt was illegal. "How can you be sentenced to three years just for being kind?" "She doesn't deserve that", she continued. "The judge jumped to the conclusion that she confesses before clarifying that she understood the question and this is worrying", Dia al-Bassal, Plummer's lawyer told The Telegraph. "She has demanded the presence of an official translator or to get permission to use the translator she already has", he said. She's out there by herself.

The BBC reported Tuesday that her lawyers would file an appeal.

More news: Tuesday forecast: Above average temperatures continue through today and tomorrow

She said the family were trying to find out more details about what happened in the courtroom on Tuesday.

Reacting to the news of her sentence, Hull East MP Karl Turner said that Plummer had been naive but was also "decent, honest and hard-working". "We had all the evidence showing her innocence".

"We're just hoping. Even half of that would be better".

The drug was officially deemed as the most used in Egypt in 2015, when the country's Anti Addiction Fund said 40.7% of the population were using it. "This is a damning indictment actually of the Egyptian authorities in the sense that good sense and fairness certainly hasn't prevailed in this case", he said.

The painkiller is legal in the United Kingdom but banned in Egypt.

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