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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”.
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Abiy Ahmed wins the 2019 Nobel Peace Award
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize for immersly efforts to end two decades of hostility with longtime enemy Eritrea.
Though Africa’s youngest leader still faces big challenges, he has in under two years in power begun political and economic reforms that promise a better life for many in impoverished Ethiopia and restored ties with Eritrea that had been frozen since a 1998-2000 border war.
“We are proud as a nation,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement, hailing a “collective win for all Ethiopians, and a call to strengthen our resolve in making Ethiopia – the new horizon of hope – a prosperous nation for all.”
It said the prize was meant to recognize “all the stakeholders working for peace and reconciliation in Ethiopia and in the East and Northeast African regions.”
The Nobel Committee’s decision appeared designed to encourage the peace process, echoing the 1994 peace prize shared by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and the 1993 award for moves towards reconciliation in South Africa, said Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
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