Australian tax payers will reportedly pick up the $100,000 bill for Cassie Sainsbury’s trial in Colombia, despite Peter Dutton's claims otherwise.
Yesterday Sainsbury was sentenced to a maximum of six years behind bars in Colombia and slapped with a $US90,000 fine for attempting to smuggle cocaine out of Colombia.
The 22-year-old had been facing up to 30 years in jail but could be free in about two-and-a-half years under the deal struck between her lawyers and the prosecution.
But while Australia won’t be paying her fine Seven News reports taxpayers will pay for her five months of legal assistance.
This comes in direct claims made Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to Channel Seven earlier this year.
When asked, “Do you or do we fund her legal costs at all?” Mr Dutton replied, “No. That'll be an issue for her”.
Sainsbury’s Colombian lawyer, Orlando Herran, said his client deserved the money.
“These people (like Cassie) are just victim of bigger criminals,” he said.
DFAT has not responded to requests for confirmation, passing the request on to the Governor General’s office.
Australians facing serious charges overseas and more than 20 years’ jail time receive some financial support from the government.