Cassandra Sainsbury reportedly reaches plea bargain with Bogota prosecutors

By @chelean on
Cassandra Sainsbury
Cassandra Sainsbury, an Australian, is seen in handcuffs after she was arrested at the international airport in Bogota, Colombia, April 12, 2017. Picture Taken April 12, 2017. Colombian Police/Handout via Reuters

Cassandra Sainsbury could serve just three and a half years out of a maximum 30 years in prison. The accused Australian drug smuggler has reportedly reached a deal with Colombian authorities.

Prosecutors told the Australian that a plea bargain deal has been reached, the details of which will be made public on Wednesday in Colombia (Thursday in Australia). The deal is reportedly for seven years, but it could see the former physical trainer serving just less than four years in prison if she exhibited good behaviour by studying and working inside.

She is due to return to court on Wednesday. It will then be a court judge’s decision whether to accept the deal or not.

Earlier this week, the Advertiser reported that Bogota prosecutors would only accept a plea bargain deal with Sainsbury if she named the drug ring that she allegedly worked for. It is still unknown if she has agreed to it.

If the deal involves Sainsbury divulging details about the cartel, it is understood that she would be placed in a witness protection program. Her Bogota lawyer, Orlando Herran, previously said she was forced to act as runner for the group after they threatened her and her loved ones’ lives.

Sainsbury has been staying in Bogota’s El Buen Pastor prison since her arrest in April. She was about to leave for Australia when she was stopped by officials at the airport. Her baggage was found with 5.8 kg cocaine in individual bags. She first claimed she had no knowledge of the drugs in her suitcase. A man who was her interpreter in the country apparently gave her the bags, which were hidden inside headphone boxes, the morning she was about to leave the country. She said she did not check what was inside them.

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