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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Sisi pardons UK woman jailed in Egypt on drug charges

Laura Plummer, 33, was detained for attempting to smuggle 290 Tramadol pills into the country

One mother has told of how her son's descent into drug addiction started with Tramadol. Keith Burdett
One mother has told of how her son's descent into drug addiction started with Tramadol. Keith Burdett

Egyptian president Abdel Fatah El Sisi has pardoned a British woman jailed for attempting to bring Tramadol into the country.

Laura Plummer, 33, from the British city of Hull was sentenced to three years in prison in December last year after 290 Tramadol pills were found in her suitcase. The drug is available on prescription in the UK but is banned in Egypt.

Ms Plummer, a shop worker, said she brought the tablets for her Egyptian partner, Omar Abdel Aziz, who suffers from a bad back, and claimed to have no idea the substance was banned.

According to her family, Mr El Sisi issued a pardon for Ms Plummer on Thursday last week as part of an amnesty to mark Revolution Day, the anniversary of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

While the president cannot interfere in the judicial process, he can issue pardons to prisoners on January 25 which is seen as a "day of mercy".

Upon hearing the news of her daughter's pardon, Roberta Sinclair, Ms Plummer’s mother, told The Sun newspaper: “I can’t thank him enough. It’s amazing what he did. Now we want to get her home.”

Ms Plummer was meanwhile reported to have told her family: “I never thought this day would come. I’d given up hope. It’s hard to believe and hasn’t sunk in yet.”

The 33-year-old’s brother and sister have flown to Cairo in anticipation of her release, although it is not yet clear when this will be.

Sources at Britain's foreign office said they believed she would be released on Friday last week.

However, subsequent reports have suggested that, because she is a foreign inmate rather than an Egyptian national, her release might take longer.

Ms Plummer was detained at Hurghada international airport on October 9 last year on suspicion of drug trafficking and has spent 16 weeks in jail.

She is currently being held at Al Qanater women’s prison in the Egyptian capital.