On Tuesday an Egyptian court sentenced Laura Plummer to three years in prison for attempting to smuggle approximately 300 painkillers into the country. Plummer’s defence team said they will attempt to appeal the conviction to have it overturned.
The 33 year old British woman was arrested a couple of months ago when Tramadol tablets were found by authorities in her suitcase. Plummer’s family has since spoken to British newspapers explaining that she bought the painkillers for her Egyptian partner who is living in Hurghada.
She attended her hearing on Monday before she was sentenced on Tuesday. On top of the 3 years’ in jail, the Egyptian court also ruled Plummer to pay a fine of $100,000 Egyptian pounds (equivalent to $7,260 Australian dollars).
In Britain, Tramadol is a legal prescription medicine; however it is banned in Egypt. Plummer was detained and arrested when arriving in Egypt and her detention was prolonged twice before she was able to appear in court.
Plummer’s family has voiced their concern and they are extremely appalled with the way the trial was conducted. They explain that from the very beginning the process was a nightmare, with Egyptian officials offering minimal assistance.
During Plummer’s court appearances she wasn’t allow her own interpreter, therefore making it increasingly difficult for her to fully understand what was going on. The court appointed interpreter was said to be interpreting the incorrect answers.
The family also explained that Plummer was forced to sign documents in Arabic language, with no explanation of what the documents actually said in English. Plummer’s sister has said that she is on the brink of a mental breakdown.
Plummer’s lawyer will be seeking an appeal, looking to reverse the outcome or have a commuted sentence. This needs to be done in the next two months. Her lawyer also explained that Plummer wasn’t aware that Tramadol was a banned substance in Egypt.
She had no criminal intent when bringing the painkillers to Egypt. There was only 320 pill found in her suitcase, therefore her lawyer has stated that it is illogical she would be trying to deal Tramadol – the plane ticket her bought was almost twice the price of the money she would have earned if she was indeed selling the pills.