Two Norwegian girls convicted for cocaine smuggling have had their sentences reduced on appeal by a court in Bolivia.
20-year-old Stine Brendemo Hagen and 23-year-old Madeleine Rodriguez were sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in San Sebastian prison after their arrest 2½ years ago, in an attempt to smuggle 22.4 kilos of cocaine to Norway.
Bolivian authorities reduced both women’s jail terms to 10 years and 4 months, after secret negotiations were held involving Ms Hagen’s and Ms Rodriguez’ lawyers.
The Court of Appeal’s opinion was that neither Ms Hagen nor Ms Rodriguez could be tied to the criminal network alleged to be behind the smuggling attempt, as prosecuting authorities originally claimed.
“Things are looking better for me now. It won’t be so long until I can get out of here,” Ms Rodriguez told VG by phone from jail.
Police arrested both women at Cochabamba airport in May 2008 together with then 19-year-old Christina Øygarden.
Ms Øygarden, who jumped bail in February this year and escaped to Norway on an emergency passport, stands indicted by Norwegian criminal police (Kripos) for the attempted smuggling.
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