A British woman accused of smuggling prescription drugs into Egypt is facing fresh heartbreak after being told she could spend more time in custody before her case is heard.
Laura Plummer, 33, was due to stand trial on Christmas Day, after she was arrested at an airport with 300 Tramadol pills in October.
The shop assistant, who is said to be holed up in a prison cell with up to 25 other women, claimed the pills were to help her boyfriend Omar Caboo with his back pain.
However, the medicine is banned in Egypt where it is used as a heroin substitute.
Now legal sources in Egypt have told her family her case could be adjourned for another month before it is properly heard.
Although Laura is unlikely to be given the death penalty, which can be handed down to convicted drug smugglers, she’s been told she could face a seven-year prison sentence if she is found guilty, report .
Laura’s sister Jayne Sinclair said: “We had hoped that Laura would be released on Christmas Day by the judge, but her lawyers in Egypt say there is now a chance the case will be adjourned for another month.
“It is very disappointing but that is how the legal system works over there and we have to respect that. Laura is doing OK but she has lost some weight and is very pale.
She is being treated very well while in prison but of course we just want her home as soon as possible.
“This has gone on too long.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has discussed Laura’s case with the Egyptian Prime Minister and she is receiving regular visits from her partner and other members of her family.
When a judge declared Laura must stand trial in Egypt – dashing any hopes of release pending trial – her mum Roberta told report she feared Laura would not last in jail.
Dad Neville added: “We have just been told the news and we are distraught. I know Laura will be distraught.
“Laura is not a strong person and I don’t know how much more she can take.”
He also accused the Foreign Office of being “next to useless” in the case.
Ms Plummer has spent the last month in a “hellhole” 15ft by 15ft cell with 25 other women.
Her sisters Rachel, 31, and Jayne, 30 and mum Roberta appeared on This Morning to highlight Laura’s plight early last month.
Laura previously reported: “I can’t tell you how stupid I feel.”
Her MP Karl Turner said: “Omar, the partner of Laura, has come forward with evidence to show that he did indeed suffer with back pain – various medical certificates and scans which prove that it was true.”
Mr Turner said the Egyptian lawyer acting for Ms Plummer is confident that the evidence will help her case as it confirms her version of events.
He said the lawyer is recognised by the Foreign Office and British Embassy as somebody who has acted for British citizens in Egypt previously.
Mr Turner said Ms Plummer was arrested when customs officers carried out a spot check at the airport in Hurghada.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said its officials were “supporting a British woman and her family following her detention in Egypt”.
Nigeria Football Federation boss Amaju Pinnick under fresh corruption probe
Several properties belonging to top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including its president Amaju Pinnick, have been seized in a fresh corruption probe.
The latest investigation and seizures are being carried out by the country’s Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission’s (ICPC).
The ICPC has published a newspaper advertisement about the properties seized – half of which belong to Pinnick.
According to the statement published in the Nigerian papers one of Pinnick’s properties is in London.
It comes amidst wide-ranging claims over how money meant for football development allegedly disappeared.
“We can’t go into further details beyond the fact that many officials of the NFF are under investigation,” ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa said.
“It’s basically because what they have is in excess of what they have earned.”
The ICPC has also taken control of properties belonging to the NFF second vice-president Shehu Dikko and the general secretary Muhamed Sanusi among others.
Rwanda ban Burundi,s music star ahead of annual festival
Burundian musician Jean Pierre Nimbona, popularly known as Kidum, has told the BBC he is confused by Rwanda’s decision to ban him from playing at the upcoming Kigali Jazz Fusion festival.
Kidum is one of Burundi’s biggest music stars and has performed in Rwanda for the past 16 years.
But a police official phoned the musician’s manager to warn that he would only be allowed to make private visits to Rwanda.
“[My manager was told] Kidum is not supposed to perform, tell him to leave. If he comes for private visits fine, but no performances,” the musician told BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.
The mayor of Rwanda’s capital said that in this instance permission had not been sought from the authorities for him to perform at the festival in Kigali.
Kidum was a leading peace activist during Burundi’s civil war between 1993 and 2003 and used his songs to call for reconciliation.
The 44-year-old musician said he had never had problems with Rwandan authorities until recently when three of his shows were cancelled at the last minute – including one in December 2018.
That month Burundi had banned Meddy, a musician who is half-Burundian, half-Rwandan, from performing in the main city of Bujumbura.
Kidum said he was unsure if the diplomatic tensions between Burundi and Rwanda had influenced his ban.
“I don’t know, I don’t have any evidence about that. And if there was politics, I’m not a player in politics, I’m just a freelance musician based in Nairobi,” he said.
He said he would not challenge the ban: “There’s nothing I can do, I just wait until maybe the decision is changed some day.
“It’s similar to a family house and you are denied entry… so you just have to wait maybe until the head of the family decides otherwise.”
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